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Fire Energetics and Emissions Research

FEER Updates


20.Feb.2019 - VIIRS active fire data available as VNPFIRE product.

12.Feb.2019 - FEERv1.0 Emissions processing stream fixed.

08.Feb.2019 - MODFIRE processing stream fixed.

31.Jul.2018 - Suomi-NPP VIIRS fire data added to Africa Explorer.

Interactions and Feedbacks between Biomass Burning and Water Cycle Dynamics across the Northern Sub-Saharan African Region

Biomass Burning in Northern Sub-Saharan Africa
Project Highlights Project wiki (for collaborators only!)


This IDS-2013 successor project aims to reinforce and amplify the preceding IDS-2009 interdisciplinary study by incorporating the potential impacts of similar environmental phenomena and processes in the adjoining Northern and Southern Africa as well as the Atlantic and Indian Oceans on the water cycle dynamics in the NSSA region. Our team is well constituted, with scientists from different but complementary areas of expertise, including biomass burning and surface characterization, aerosols and atmospheric modeling, cloud processes and precipitation, surface hydrology, ground-water hydrology, and climate modeling. Most of these scientists have substantial experience working in the NSSA region. This research is strategically designed to encompass in depth and breadth the different disciplines relevant to the subject matter, with dynamic linkages throughout the research period, in order to obtain a comprehensive result that relates the scientific outcome to societal impacts, as well as future projections of these. This is needed to formulate mitigation options to avert the looming regional/global catastrophic outcome of a potentially irreversible 'takeover' of that region by drought/desertification, exemplified by the drying up of Lake Chad and other water resources.

Team Members

Charles Ichoku, Ph.D

Principle Investigator
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Greenbelt, MD

Jimmy Adegoke, Ph.D

University of Missouri, Kansas City (UMKC)
Kansas City, MO

John Bolten, Ph.D

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Greenbelt, MD

Richard Damoah, Ph.D

USRA, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Greenbelt, MD

Amin Dezfuli, Ph.D

USRA, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Greenbelt, MD

Charles Gatebe, Ph.D

USRA/GESTAR, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Greenbelt, MD

Shahid Habib, Ph.D

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Greenbelt, MD

Jejung Lee, Ph.D

University of Missouri, Kansas City (UMKC)
Kansas City, MO

Toshihisa Matsui, Ph.D

ESSIC/UMCP, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Greenbelt, MD

Churchill Okonkwo, Ph.D

Beltsville Center for Climate System Observation
Atmospheric Science Program, Howard University
Washington, DC

Fritz Policelli, Ph.D candidate

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Greenbelt, MD

Jun Wang, Ph.D

University of Nebraska
Lincoln, NE

Eric Wilcox, Ph.D

Desert Research Institute of the Nevada System of Higher Education
Reno, NV

Research Objectives

Energy Cycle (Ichoku, Gatebe, Wang)

To what extent does the seasonal biomass burning affect land-cover and ecosystem changes, surface albedo, smoke and dust emissions, atmospheric heating rates, and the consequent radiative forcing in the NSSA region?

Water Cycle (Lee, Bolten, Policelli, Wilcox)

How do these surface and atmospheric changes affect rainfall variability, soil moisture content and retention, surface runoff, infiltration, and the groundwater mass balance, particularly in the Lake Chad basin and surrounding regions?

Interactions and Feedbacks (Wilcox, Matsui, Wang, Damoah)

What are the relative magnitudes and spatial distributions of the various forcing and feedback effects that link the different phenomena both within the NSSA region and the adjoining regions?

Climate and Society (Adegoke, Engelbrecht, Ichoku, Okonkwo)

How will the NSSA regional climate and ecosystem balance be affected by the current degradation trend due to biomass burning, and how can this be mitigated to enhance societal benefits both in the present and the future?

Ground-Truthing and Field Verification (Lee, Adegoke, Bolten, Goni, Ichoku)

For atmospheric processes, airborne measurements from past field campaigns, such as AMMA/NAMMA, SAFARI-2000, and continuous measurements from AERONET and other ground-based monitoring stations will be used. However, for accurate parameterization and verification of the ground-based processes, a strategic field survey will be conducted in the vicinity of Lake Chad throughout the 3-year period of the proposed research, in collaboration with our partners at LCBC in Chad and University of Maiduguri (UMaid) in Nigeria.

End-User Engagement and Result Implementation (Habib, Ichoku, Adegoke)

To further pursue engagements with both national and regional agencies, including the Chad Basin Development Authority (CBDA) and the river basin authorities of the rivers that feed into Lake Chad, and to enlarge its scope, because it is anticipated that our results could be beneficial in a variety of ways to various regional and international organizations with interest in the NSSA region, such as the LCBC for water resources management, the UNDP for planning strategies and setting their development support priorities, and the IPCC for use in future climate assessments. Also, we will actualize collaboration with Regional Centre for Mapping of Resources for Development (RCMRD) to leverage the SERVIR-Africa infrastructure and their regional knowledge for dissemination of valuable results to applications communities with training options for sustainable implementation of positive solutions.


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