Fuel Characteristics and Emissions from Biomass Burning and Land-Use Change in Nigeria

Isichei, A. O ; Muoghalu, J. I. ; Akeredolu, F. A ; Afolabi, O. A. (1995)

Article

Nigeria is one of the 13 low-latitude countries that have significant biomass burning activities. Biomass burning occurs in moist savanna, dry forests, and forest plantations. Fires in the forest zone are associated with slash-and-burn agriculture; the areal extent of burning is estimated to be 80% of the natural savanna. In forest plantations, close to 100% of litter is burned. Current estimates of emissions from land-use change are based on a 1976 national study and extrapolations from it. The following non-carbon dioxide (CO,) trace gas emissions were calculated from savanna burning: methane (CH,), 145 gigagrams (Gg); carbon monoxide (CO), 3831 Gg; nitrous oxide (N,O), 2 Gg; and nitrogen oxides (NO,), 49 Gg. Deforestation rates in forests and woodlands are 300 x 103 ha (kilohectare, or kha) and 200 x kha per year, respectively. Trace gas emissions from deforestation were estimated to be 300 Gg CH,. 2.4 Gg N,O. and 24 Gg NO,. CO, emissions from burning, decay of biomass, and long-term emissions from soil totaled 125 561 Gg. These estimates should be viewed as preliminary, because greenhouse gas emission inventories from burning, deforestation, and landuse change require two components: fuel load and emission factors. Fuel load is dependent on the areal extent of various land uses, and the biomass stocking and some of these data in Nigeria are highly uncertain.

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