Role of local air‐sea interaction in fire activity over Equatorial Asia

Jin‐soo Kim, Su‐jong Jeong, Jong‐seong Kug, Mathew Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Fire activity in Equatorial Asia shows large interannual variability. Teleconnections by El Niño–Southern Oscillation and Indian Ocean Dipole are linked to drought and fire events; however, we found here that significant role of local Sea Surface Temperature (SST) over the Banda Sea in interannual variability of Equatorial Asian burned area in October even after removing the linear effects of teleconnections. October is the transient period from dry to wet season and strengthened seasonal circulation in October leads to a negative SST anomaly through Wind–Evaporation–SST mechanism. This anomalous local air‐sea interaction sustains the dry season into October and stronger fire activity. Moreover, we found that the sensitivity of precipitation to SST is higher in October than in other months, hence fires in Equatorial Asia can be sensitively driven by local SST changes. Identification of this sensitivity will underpin better predictions of fire activity and air quality in Equatorial Asia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14789-14797
Number of pages9
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number24
Early online date16 Dec 2019
Publication statusPublished - 28 Dec 2019


  • Air-Sea Interaction
  • ENSO
  • Fire
  • IOD


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