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11.B - Forest Fires
In Germany’s forests prescribed burning is not applied. Therefore, all forest fires are categorized as wildfires (include emissions from forest fires occurring naturally or caused by humans). - Note that emissions reported here are not accounted for the national totals.
|CS, T2, T1||CS||D||not included in key category analysis|
For calculating the emissions of wildfires a country specific Tier2 approach was used. The mass of carbon emitted M(C) was calculated using the adapted equation follows the methodology of Seiler and Crutzen (1980) 1).
M(C) = 0.45 * A * B * β
0.45 = average fraction of carbon in fuel wood;
A = forest area burnt in [m²];
B = mean above-ground biomass of fuel material per unit area in [kg/m²];
β = burning efficiency (fraction burnt) of the above-ground biomass.
The data on forest areas burnt for the period 1990 to 2021 have been taken from the German forest fire statistic (BLE, 2022)2) managed by the Federal Agency for Agriculture and Food. The mean above-ground biomass of fuel material was determined from the pools above ground biomass, dead wood and litter. The mean above-ground biomass and dead wood biomass was derived for each year by linear extrapolation and interpolation between the
- German National Forest Inventories of 1987, 2002, 2012 (Bundeswaldinventuren 1987, 2002, 2012),
Biomass of Litter was derived for each year by linear interpolation between 1990 and 2006 and extrapolation from 2007 based on the both Forest soil inventories (BZE I Wald (1990)3) and BZE II Wald (2006)4)).
Pursuant to König (2007) 5), 80% of the forest fires in Germany are surface fires and 20% crown fires. In accordance to the IPCC Good Practice Guidance for LULUCF (2003) a burning efficiency of 0.15 was used for surface fires and an efficiency of 0.45 was used for crown fires.
The emissions for the pollutants were calculated by multiplying the mass of carbon with the respective emission factors from table 3-3 (EMEP/EEA, 2019)6).
For the calculation of particulate emissions (TSP, PM10 and PM2.5) the burnt biomass was multiplied with the respective emission factors from table 3-5 (EMEP/EEA, 2019). Those particulate emission factors have been estimated by averaging the emission factors from the US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA, 1996) 7) methodology, since no better information is available. Those emission factors are assumed to be the same for all types of forest.
The Guidebook does not indicate whether EFs have considered the condensable component (with or without).
The data on forest areas burnt for the period 1990 to 2021 are based on the German forest fire statistic (BLE, 2021) managed by the Federal Agency for Agriculture and Food.
Table 1: Area of forest burnt from 1990 until the latest reporting year, in [ha]
For the year 2021 the follwing estimated emission factors were applied:
Table 2: Emission factors applied for 2021
In addition, a single but large-scale fire, which occurred in September 2018, is reported under here. A detailed description can be found in the NIR 2020 in Chapter 18.104.22.168 8), because a large amount of CO2 emissions were released.
The burned area of the drained moor used as a military facility covered 1,221 ha. The fire was extensively investigated and documented by the Federal Office for Infrastructure, Environmental Protection and Services of the German Armed Forces. The emissions are calculated according to IPCC GL (2006), chapter 2, form 2.27 9).
The product MB × Cf is set to 336 t d.m. ha-1 according to Table 2.6 and equation 2.7, 2013 IPCC Wetlands Supplement 10), i.e. it is assumed that the moor was completely drained during the fire.
- MB = mass of fuel available for combustion, tonnes ha-1 (i.e. mass of dry organic soil fuel)
- Cf = combustion factor, dimensionless
For calculating CO emissions, the EF according to Table 2.7, 2013 IPCC Wetlands Supplement 207 g (kg dm)-1, is taken into account, resulting in 85 kt CO.
Recalculations were made for the complete time series due to the methodology changes (the inclusion of the burning biomass of dead wood and litter, which has not been considered until now). No recalculation was made for the large-scale fire in 2018.
Table 3: Recalculation of air pollutant emisssions from 1990 until the latest reported year, in [kt]
|Black Carbon (BC)|
|Non-Methane Volatile Organic Compounds (NMVOC)|
|Particulate Matter <10µm (PM10)|
|Particulate Matter <2.5µm (PM2.5)|
|Total suspended particles (TSP)|