Studies on empirical relationship between forest fire events and remote ocean forcings
has been long been performed. In most cases, not only the fire but its smoke haze that
creates more problems such as air pollution, traffic and transboundary haze problems.
The understanding of the cause and mechanism of the ocean role to the smoke haze
distribution from forest fire is quite rare. Humans are used to be blamed for fire
occurrences, while natural forcings such as local and remote oceans are regarded as
insignificant mostly. Lacks of data and tools are the main reason why progress on this
knowledge is rather slowly. The Indonesian Smoke Induced by Drought Episodes (INSIDE) project aims to determine the amount and distribution of smoke haze in Indonesia and the adjacent countries generated from vegetation and peat fires, and the related implications for
human health (e.g. respiratory diseases) and climate (droughts, floods, aerosol-cloud
interactions, C02 release). The INSIDE project offers a new tool with a regional and
coupled climate model between atmosphere and ocean. For the regional atmosphere
we use the Max Planck Institute (MPI) Regional Climate Model with a Tracer Extension
(REMOTE) for Indonesia, while for the ocean we use the MPI-Ocean Model. Using the
coupled modeling setup in comparison to the non coupling model setup, we will be
able to study the role of ocean and atmosphere fluxes and their contribution to the
smoke haze distribution. In this study, we found strong empirical correlation between forest fire events and ENSO activities over the Pacific from data between 1997 and 2004, however in 2005, the correlation fails due to large amount of fire in Riau. The cause of discrepancies is a
large scale phenomena occur in the South China Sea, which is famous as the winter
cold surge. The cold surge is an ocean atmosphere phenomenon that has an impact
over the surrounding ocean and atmosphere and an example of ocean atmosphere
driven forest fire. In further investigation using a coupled ocean atmospheric model, we found that the coupling causes less precipitation over the ocean especially over the South China Sea.
Since the surface and low altitude winds are relatively the same, thus the wet and dry
deposition is distributed at the wider range that that of the non-coupled simulation. The
smoke itself is distributed on a narrower area by the coupled simulation than by the
non-coupled ones. Keywords: coupled model, climate model, smoke haze, forest fire. Edvin Aldrian UPTHB - BPP Teknologi, JI MH Thamrin no 8, Jakarta 10340
e-mail:, aldrian