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Biogeosciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2019-115
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2019-115
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 03 Apr 2019

Research article | 03 Apr 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Biogeosciences (BG).

Theoretical uncertainties for global satellite-derived burned area estimates

James Brennan1,2, Jose L. Gómez-Dans1,2, Mathias Disney1,2, and Philip Lewis1,2 James Brennan et al.
  • 1NERC National Centre for Earth Observation, UK
  • 2Dept. of Geography, University College London, UK

Abstract. Quantitative information on the error properties of global satellite-derived burned area estimates is essential for the scientific application of these datasets. We estimate theoretical uncertainties for three global satellite-derived burned area products using a multiplicative triple collocation error model. The approach provides unique uncertainties at 1° for the MODIS Collection 6 burned area product (MCD64); the MODIS Collection 5.1 MCD45 product and the FireCCI50 product. Theoretical uncertainties indicate constraints on mean global burned area for three product of 3.76 ± 0.15 x 106 km2 for MCD64, 3.70 ± 0.17 x 106 km2 for FireCCI50, and 3.31 ± 0.18 x 106 km2. These correspond to relative uncertainties of 4–5.5 % and also indicate previous uncertainty estimates to be under-estimated. Relative uncertainties in frequently burning regions of Africa and Australia are typically 8–10 % and higher in regions with smaller annual burned area. The proposed method provides uncertainties amenable to both modelling studies and for the validation of current burned area products.

James Brennan et al.
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Status: open (until 18 May 2019)
Status: open (until 18 May 2019)
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James Brennan et al.
James Brennan et al.
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Short summary
We estimate the uncertainties associated with three global satellite-derived burned area estimates. The method provides unique uncertainties for the three estimates at the global scale for 2001–2013. We find uncertainties of 4–5.5 % in global burned area and uncertainties of 8–10 % in the frequently burning regions of Africa and Australia.
We estimate the uncertainties associated with three global satellite-derived burned...
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