Targeted Improvements in the Fire Inventory from NCAR (FINN)
Model for Texas Air Quality Planning
Wildland fires and open burning can be substantial sources of ozone precursors and particulate matter. The influence of fire events on air quality in Texas has been well documented by observational studies. During the 2012-2013 fiscal year of the Air Quality Research Program (AQRP), Dr. Elena McDonald-Buller, Dr. Christine Wiedinmyer, and Mr. Chris Emery led a project (#12-018) that evaluated the sensitivity of emissions estimates from the Fire INventory from NCAR (FINNv1; Wiedinmyer et al. 2011) to the variability in input parameters and the effects on modeled air quality using the Comprehensive Air Quality Model with Extensions (CAMx; ENVIRON, 2011). The project included an analysis of the climatology of fires in Texas and neighboring regions, comparisons of fire emission estimates between the FINN and BlueSky/SmartFire (Larkin 2009; Chinkin et al., 2009) modeling frameworks, evaluation of the sensitivity of FINN emissions estimates to key input parameters and data sources, and assessment of the effects of FINN sensitivities on Texas air quality. Among the many findings of the study were the needs for targeted improvements in land cover characterization, burned area estimation, fuel loadings, and emissions factors. These needs were particularly pronounced in areas with agricultural burning. This project addresses specific improvements in FINN that will support fire emissions estimates for Texas and the next public release of the FINN model. Fire emissions and air quality modeling will focus on 2012 to support TCEQ's air quality planning efforts.