'The Burning Issue'
David J. Lohman, David Bickford and Navjot S. Sodhi report that fires to clear land in S E Asia in 1998 caused between $4.4 and $7.9bn worth of damage [to terrestrial economic activity, I assume] and released between 0.81 and 2.57 gigatons of carbon (The Burning Issue, Science Vol 316, 20 April).
They write, too, that using fire to clear land has been illegal in Indonesia since 1995, that a zero burning policy was ratified by ASEAN in 1999, but that farmers throughout the region and plantations in Indonesia continue to ignore the ban:
'Solutions to the haze problem are needed before the onset of the dry season in June, as 2007 may be another El Niño year. Lessons learned from this catastrophe may help ameliorate similar smoke-haze episodes in Amazonia, Africa, and other parts of Asia.A message to all readers: please let me know if you have further information, or reference to studies on the impacts of these fires on the marine environment. You can attach a comment on this post or e mail via the contact details given on the complete profile page of this site.
(see also How to destroy a planet)
[P.S. 2 May: plus Climate change lessons in Indonesia]