Thomas E L Smith

Thomas E L Smith
The London School of Economics and Political Science | LSE · Department of Geography and Environment

MSc PhD

About

41
Publications
16,436
Reads
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1,388
Citations
Introduction
Geographer and environmental scientist, specialising in the role of biomass burning in the Earth system. I enjoy highly collaborative research focusing on greenhouse and reactive gas emissions from biomass burning in savannas and tropical peatlands. I am particularly interested in complex interactions between land degradation, peat composition, and fire emissions characteristics. Expertise include infrared and VNIR spectroscopy, wildfire spread modelling, knowledge exchange, & decision support.
Additional affiliations
April 2013 - September 2016
King's College London
Position
  • Lecturer

Publications

Publications (41)
Article
Full-text available
This study quantified CO 2 emissions from tropical peat swamp soils in Brunei Darussalam. At each site, soil was collected from areas of intact and degraded peat and CO 2 flux, and total organic content were measured ex situ. Soil organic content (~20–99%) was not significantly different between intact and degraded forest samples. CO 2 flux was hig...
Article
Full-text available
Sedge-mediated gas transport to the atmosphere has been recognized as a significant CH4 pathway in northern peatlands; however, in the Tropics, this pathway remains unquantified. In Southeast Asia, degraded tropical peatlands covered with sedges and ferns have increased to almost 10% of the total peatland area due to an increased drainage and fires...
Article
Full-text available
Key message: Permanent sampling plots (PSPs) are a powerful and reliable methodology to help our understanding of the diversity and dynamics of tropical forests. Based on the current inventory of PSPs in Indonesia, there is high potential to establish a long-term collaborative forest monitoring network. Whilst there are challenges to initiating suc...
Article
Full-text available
The rise of palm oil as the world’s most consumed vegetable oil has coincided with exponential growth in palm oil research activity. Bibliometric analysis of research outputs reveals a distinct imbalance in the type of research being undertaken, notably a disproportionate focus on biofuel and engineering topics. Recognising the expansion of oil pal...
Article
Smouldering peat fires, the largest fires on Earth in terms of fuel consumption, are reported in six continents and are responsible for regional haze episodes. Haze is the large-scale accumulation of smoke at low altitudes in the atmosphere. It decreases air quality, disrupts transportation and causes health emergencies. Research on peat emissions...
Article
Full-text available
Southeast Asia experiences frequent fires in fuel-rich tropical peatlands, leading to extreme episodes of regional haze with high concentrations of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) impacting human health. In a study published recently, the first field measurements of PM2.5 emission factors for tropical peat fires showed larger emissions than from ot...
Article
Full-text available
We characterised trace gas emissions from Australian temperate forest fires through a mixture of open-path Fourier transform infrared (OP-FTIR) measurements and selective ion flow tube mass spectrometry (SIFT-MS) and White cell FTIR analysis of grab samples. We report emission factors for a total of 25 trace gas species measured in smoke from nine...
Article
Full-text available
Fires in tropical peatlands account for >25% of estimated total greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and degradation. Despite significant global and regional impacts, our understanding of specific gaseous fire emission factors (EFs) from tropical peat burning is limited to a handful of studies. Furthermore, there is substantial variability i...
Article
Airborne Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) is a survey tool with many applications in forestry and forest research. It can capture the 3D structure of vegetation and topography quickly and accurately over thousands of hectares of forest. However, very few studies have assessed how accurately LiDAR can measure surface topography under forest canop...
Article
Full-text available
We characterised trace gas emissions from Australian temperate forest fires through a mixture of in situ open-path FTIR measurements spectroscopy and selective ion flow tube mass spectrometry (SIFT-MS) and White cell FTIR spectroscopy of grab samples. We report emission factors for a total of 25 trace gas species measured in smoke from nine prescri...
Article
Forest fires are an annual occurrence in many parts of the world forcing large-scale evacuation. The frequent and growing occurrence of these events makes it necessary to develop appropriate evacuation plans for areas that are susceptible to forest fires. The buildingEXODUS evacuation model has been extended to model large-scale urban evacuations b...
Article
Full-text available
The first International Peat Congress (IPC) held in the tropics - in Kuching (Malaysia) - brought together over 1000 international peatland scientists and industrial partners from across the world (“International Peat Congress with over 1000 participants!,” 2016). The congress covered all aspects of peatland ecosystems and their management, with a...
Article
We provide the first assessment of tropical peatland depth of burn (DoB) using structure from motion (SfM) photogrammetry, applied to imagery collected using a low-cost, low-altitude unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) system operated over a 5.2 ha tropical peatland in Jambi Province on Sumatra, Indonesia. Tropical peat soils are the result of thousands...
Article
Full-text available
The first International Peat Congress (IPC) held in the tropics - in Kuching (Malaysia) - brought together over 1000 international peatland scientists and industrial partners from across the world ("International Peat Congress with over 1000 participants!," 2016). The congress covered all aspects of peatland ecosystems and their management, with a...
Article
Full-text available
Drained peatlands are significant hotspots of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and may also be more vulnerable to fire with its associated gaseous emissions. Under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Kyoto Protocol, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from peatlands managed for extraction are reported on an annual ba...
Article
Full-text available
Drained peatlands are significant hotspots of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and may also be more vulnerable to fire with its associated gaseous emissions. Under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Kyoto Protocol, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from peatlands managed for extraction are reported on an annual ba...
Article
Full-text available
Savanna fires contribute approximately 40–50% of total global annual biomass burning carbon emissions. Recent comparisons of emission factors from different savanna regions have highlighted the need for a regional approach to emission factor development, and better assessment of the drivers of the temporal and spatial variation in emission factors....
Article
Full-text available
Biomass burning releases trace gases and aerosol particles that significantly affect the composition and chemistry of the atmosphere. Australia contributes approximately 8% of gross global carbon emissions from biomass burning, yet there are few previous measurements of emissions from Australian forest fires available in the literature. This paper...
Article
Full-text available
Recent advances in thermal infrared remote sensing include the increased availability of airborne hyperspectral imagers (such as the Hyperspectral Thermal Emission Spectrometer, HyTES, or the Telops HyperCam and the Specim aisaOWL), and it is planned that an increased number spectral bands in the long-wave infrared (LWIR) region will soon be measur...
Article
Full-text available
Savanna fires contribute approximately 40-50% of total global annual biomass burning carbon emissions. Recent comparisons of emission factors from different savanna regions have highlighted the need for a regional approach to emission factor development, and better assessment of the drivers of the temporal and spatial variation in emission factors....
Article
Full-text available
Biomass burning releases trace gases and aerosol particles that significantly affect the composition and chemistry of the atmosphere. Australia contributes approximately 8% of gross global carbon emissions from biomass burning, yet there are few previous measurements of emissions from Australian forest fires available in the literature. This paper...
Chapter
Thermal infrared (TIR) spectra of Earth surface materials are used in a wide variety of applications. These applications can fall into either of two groups: (a) where the TIR emissivity spectra themselves are the primary interest, and are used to determine the chemical/physical parameters of minerals and rocks, soil, vegetation and man-made materia...
Article
Full-text available
Current good practice guidelines for national greenhouse gas inventories requires that seasonal variation in emission factors from savanna fires be considered when compiling national accounts. African studies concluded that the emission factor for methane decreases during the dry season principally due to curing of the fuels. However, available dat...
Article
Full-text available
Biomass burning emissions factors are vital to quantifying trace gases releases from vegetation fires. Here we evaluate emissions factors for a series of savannah fires in Kruger National Park (KNP), South Africa using ground-based open path Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy and an infrared lamp separated by 150–250 m distance. Molecul...
Article
Full-text available
Biomass burning emissions factors are vital to quantifying trace gas release from vegetation fires. Here we evaluate emissions factors for a series of savannah fires in Kruger National Park (KNP), South Africa using ground-based open path Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy and an IR source separated by 150–250 m distance. Molecular abun...
Article
Full-text available
When compared to established point-sampling methods, Open-Path Fourier Transform Infrared (OP-FTIR) spectroscopy can provide path-integrated concentrations of multiple gases simultaneously, in situ and near-continuously. The trace gas pathlength amounts can be retrieved from the measured IR spectra using a forward model coupled to a non-linear leas...
Article
Full-text available
Recent developments to the Local-scale Urban Meteorological Parameterization Scheme (LUMPS), a simple model able to simulate the urban energy balance, are presented. The major development is the coupling of LUMPS to the Net All-Wave Radiation Parameterization (NARP). Other enhancements include that the model now accounts for the changing availabili...
Article
Full-text available
A moorland site in Northumberland in the northeast of England was used for a series of experimental burns in heather-dominated vegetation (Calluna vulgaris) and one burn in a stand of gorse (Ulex europaeus) towards the end of March 2010. This article summarises the main aspects of the exercise, its context and objectives, methods used and some of i...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
A moorland site in Northumberland in the northeast of England was used for a series of experimental burns in heather-dominated vegetation (Calluna vulgaris) and one burn in a stand of gorse (Ulex europaeus) towards the end of March 2010. This article summarises the main aspects of the exercise, its context and objectives, methods used and some of i...
Article
Full-text available
When compared to established point-sampling methods, Open-Path Fourier Transform Infrared (OP-FTIR) spectroscopy can provide path-integrated concentrations of multiple gases simultaneously, in situ and near-continuously. Concentrations can be retrieved from the measured IR spectra using a forward model coupled to a non-linear least squares fitting...
Article
Full-text available
Eleven instruments for the measurement of ambient concentrations of atmospheric ammonia gas (NH3), based on eight different measurement methods were inter-compared above an intensively managed agricultural field in late summer 2008 in S. Scotland. To test the instruments over a wide range of concentrations, the field was fertilised with urea midway...
Article
Eleven instruments for the measurement of ambient concentrations of atmospheric ammonia gas (NH3), based on eight different measurement methods were inter-compared above an intensively managed agricultural field in late summer 2008 in S. Scotland. To test the instruments over a wide range of concentrations, the field was fertilised with urea midway...
Article
When compared to established point-sampling methods, OP-FTIR spectroscopy can measure different gases simultaneously, in situ and near-continuously, providing path-integrated concentration retrievals. However, few studies have investigated the accuracy of the retrieval process for CO 2 , CH 4 and CO, particularly across a broad range of concentrati...

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Projects (2)
Project
Observing urban climate processes http://micromet.reading.ac.uk/