The dynamics that lift smoke from large wildfires into the upper atmosphere could potentially be employed one day to help temporarily cool the planet, based on the findings of a modeling study led by NOAA scientists.
Massive high-altitude clouds of smoke warmed the Southern Hemisphere's stratospshere by about 1 degree Celsius for six months, and likely contributed to the large and persistent ozone hole that formed over Antarctica during the austral spring.
NOAA's HRRR-Smoke model may still be designated as experimental, but when wildfires are burning, many count on it for smoke forecasts.
A NOAA study published in Nature Geosciences takes a new look at faint, old smoke and finds that it is just as important an influence on the climate as the thick plumes produced by active fires.
New research finds the temperature of a wildfire is a better predictor of what’s in the smoke than the type of fuel being burned - a surprising result that will advance a wildfire smoke-modeling tool currently under development.
Understanding how wildfires impact air pollution and the composition of Earth’s atmosphere is critical for communities near and far because smoke from wildfires can travel long distances and have adverse health impacts on citizens.
The hot and dry Santa Ana winds are associated with many of Southern California’s destructive wildfires, and even take the blame for tense, ugly moods. Now, NOAA researchers have found that on occasion the winds have an accomplice in contributing to California’s wildfires: atmospheric events known as stratospheric intrusions, which bring extremely dry air from the upper atmosphere down to the surface.
Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR) - or "NOAA Research" - provides the research foundation for understanding the complex systems that support our planet. Working in partnership with other organizational units of the NOAA, a bureau of the Department of Commerce, NOAA Research enables better forecasts, earlier warnings for natural disasters, and a greater understanding of the Earth. Our role is to provide unbiased science to better manage the environment, nationally, and globally.