QFED biomass burning emissions

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NOTE: The QFED biomass burning emissions inventory is available for simulations with GEOS-Chem v10-01 and higher versions via the HEMCO emissions component. While the standard GEOS-Chem simulation uses GFED4 biomass burning emissions, you may select QFED instead of GFED4 if your research requires it.

From the GMAO website:

The Quick Fire Emissions Dataset (QFED) was developed to enable biomass-burning emissions of atmospheric constituents to be included in the NASA Goddard Earth Observing System (GEOS) modeling and data assimilation systems. The QFED emissions are based on the fire radiative power (FRP) approach and draw on the cloud correction method developed in the Global Fire Assimilation System (GFAS), QFED however employs more sophisticated treatment of non-observed (e.g., obscured by clouds) land areas. Location and FRP of fires are obtained from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) Level 2 fire products (MOD14 and MYD14) and the MODIS Geolocation products (MOD03 and MYD03). Major advantages of QFED are the high spatial and temporal resolutions, and near-real time availability. Currently, QFED provides daily-mean emissions of black carbon, organic carbon, sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, PM2.5, ammonia, nitrogen oxides, methyl ethyl ketone, propylene, ethane, propane, n- and i-butane, acetaldehyde, formaldehyde, acetone and methane.
QFED emissions at 0.1x0.1 degrees horizontal resolution were used in the 7-km GEOS-5 Nature Run experiment (NR-c1440) to provide global fire emissions for the interactive aerosol chemistry simulated with an online implementation of the Goddard Chemistry, Aerosol, Radiation, and Transport model (GOCART). An example of instantaneous aerosol optical thickness (AOT) in September 2005 shows that the global mesoscale simulation benefited from the high resolution QFED emissions and was able to produce realistic individual fire plumes as well as large scale features from fires in Africa and the Americas.

A note about resolution

As mentioned above, QFED emissions are available at 0.1x0.1 degrees horizontal resolution. These data are not real-time and lag by ~6 months. A near real-time product is available at 0.25x0.3125 degrees. Generally, the QFED data stored in the HEMCO data directories is the improved 0.1x0.1 product. Occasionally the 0.25x0.3125 product may be stored there to complete a year, and this data will be replaced once the 0.1x0.1 product becomes available.

Update to QFED v2.5r1

Christoph Keller wrote:

The QFED files that are on the Harvard server (in folder HEMCO/QFED/v2014-09/ are version v2.4r6. These files are available at 0.1° x 0.1° until the end of October 2016, and at 0.25° x 0.25° until end of 2016. For emissions beyond 2016 we need to update to v2.5r1. For consistency reasons we should then use that version for all years (2000-forward).

We have copied the QFED v2.5r1 data to the Harvard data server. The data should be visible on July 20, 2018 at the following path:


For more information, please see our HEMCO data directories wiki page.

--Bob Yantosca (talk) 19:10, 19 July 2018 (UTC)

Previous issues now resolved

Fix QFED files for 2016/10/13

This fix will be included GEOS-Chem 12.0.0.

Qiaoqiao Wang pointed out the QFED files for 2016/10/13 had the wrong dimensions.

        lon = 1152 ;
        lat = 721 ;
        time = UNLIMITED ; // (1 currently)

should be

        lon = 3600 ;
        lat = 1800 ;
        time = UNLIMITED ; // (1 currently)

This impacted all QFED emissions species. The corrected files were provided by Christoph Keller and are available on the Harvard ftp site as on 11 Jul 2018.

--Melissa Sulprizio (talk) 13:52, 11 July 2018 (UTC)

Biomass burning emissions diagnostic is zero when QFED is used

NOTE: This update was included in v11-01g (approved 28 Sep 2016).

Some users reported zero biomass burning emissions in the ND28 diagnostic output when QFED emissions were enabled in the HEMCO_Confic.rc file for GEOS-Chem v10-01. To resolve this, users can change the emissions category for QFED to 5 in HEMCO_Config.rc.

Christoph Keller wrote:

You need to set the emission category of QFED to 5 instead of 3:
 0 QFED_Hg    $ROOT/QFED/v2014-09/$YYYY/$MM/qfed2.emis_co.005.$YYYY$MM$DD.nc4   biomass 2000-2013/1-12/1-31/0 C xy kg/m2/s Hg0   54/75 5 2
The key is to make sure that the HEMCO diagnostics (in hcoi_gc_diagn_mod.F90) use the correct combination of extension number and emission category. For instance, if GFED (FINN) is enabled biomass burning emissions come from extension number 111 (114) and the emission category should be –1. If neither GFED nor FINN is enabled, the extension number is 0 and category is set to CATEGORY_BIOMASS (which is hardcoded to 5 in hcoi_gc_diagn_include.H). The variables ExtNr and Cat are defined at the beginning of subroutine DIAGN_BIOMASS in hcoi_gc_diagn_mod.F90:
   ! First test if GFED is used.  If not, then test if FINN is used.
   ! If not, then use extension # 0 and the default biomass category.
   Cat   = -1
   ExtNr = GetExtNr( HcoState%Config%ExtList, 'GFED' )
   IF ( ExtNr <= 0 ) ExtNr = GetExtNr( HcoState%Config%ExtList, 'FINN' )
   IF ( ExtNr <= 0 ) THEN
      ExtNr = 0
So if you make sure that the emission category assigned to QFED in your HEMCO configuration file is the same as CATEGORY_BIOMASS, it should work.

Bob Yantosca wrote:

I think I can shed some light on [this issue]. In GEOS-Chem we have an include file GeosCore/hcoi_gc_diagn_include.H that specifies the category numbers for GEOS-Chem manual diagnostics. These are used in the calls to DIAGN_CREATE in GeosCore/hcoi_gc_diagn_mod.F90. The file looks like this:
 !                  Harvard-NASA Emissions Component (HEMCO)                   !
 ! !IROUTINE: hcoi_gc_diagn_include.H
 ! !DESCRIPTION: Contains emissions category definitions as used within the
 !  HEMCO_Config.rc file.
 !  These categories hould correspond with the HEMCO_Config.rc file.  If you
 !  change the category listings in HEMCO_Config.rc, then update this file
 !  accordingly.
 !  01 Oct 1995 - R. Yantosca - Initial version
 !  08 Dec 2009 - R. Yantosca - Added ProTeX headers
 !  22 Feb 2015 - C. Keller   - Added eruptive and degassing volcanoes.
NOTE: hcoi_gc_diagn_include.H is not part of HEMCO (i.e. it’s not used in the standalone), but it just facilitates the HEMCO interface to GEOS-Chem.
Long story short: to have GEOS-Chem archive HEMCO diagnostics properly to the bpch file, you have to make sure that the HEMCO_Config.rc file uses the same categories as specified in hcoi_gc_diagn_include.H. This is true at least for non-extension emissions.
For example, If you use GFED or FINN, then hcoi_gc_diagn_mod.F gets the extension number of GFED or FINN directly from HEMCO, so no need to match it with the include file. On the other hand, if you are using QFED biomass (which is just read from disk files), then you need to use category 5 since so that you match the CATEGORY_BIOMASS parameter in hcoi_gc_diagn_include.H. Once you do that, the QFED emissions should show up in the ND28 biomass emissions, etc.

--Melissa Sulprizio (talk) 19:16, 14 September 2016 (UTC)


  1. Darmenov, A. and da Silva, A., The Quick Fire Emissions Dataset (QFED): Documentation of versions 2.1, 2.2 and 2.4, NASA Technical Report Series on Global Modeling and Data Assimilation NASA TM-2015-104606, Volume 38, http://gmao.gsfc.nasa.gov/pubs/docs/Darmenov796.pdf, 2015.