Biomass burning is an important global phenomenon impacting atmospheric composition. Application of satellite based measures of fire radiative energy (FRE) has been shown to be effective for estimating biomass consumed, which can then be used to estimate gas and aerosol emissions. However, application of FRE has been limited in both temporal and spatial scale. In this paper we offer a methodology to estimate FRE globally for 2001–2007 at monthly time steps using MODIS. Accuracy assessment shows that our FRE estimates are precise (R = 0.85), but may be underestimated. Global estimates of FRE show that Africa and South America dominate biomass burning, accounting for nearly 70% of the annual FRE generated. Applying FRE-based combustion factors to Africa yields an annual average biomass burned of 716–881 Tg of dry matter (DM). Comparison with the GFEDv2 biomass burned estimates shows large annual differences suggesting significant uncertainty remains in emission estimates. Citation: Ellicott, E., E. Vermote, L. Giglio, and G. Roberts (2009), Estimating biomass consumed from fire using MODIS FRE, Geophys. Res. Lett., 36, L13401, doi:10.1029/2009GL038581.