Extreme wildfire seasons are no longer an outlier in the western United States, where climate change is drying out vegetation and people are moving deeper and deeper into western forests. To protect these rural communities, land managers are increasingly fighting fire with fire—prescribed fires that burn off belts of flammable vegetation to create firebreaks and reduce fuel buildup, preventing larger fires later. All that fire produces a lot of smoke—and a serious air pollution problem. This summer, NOAA and NASA are teaming up on a massive research campaign called FIREX-AQ that will use satellites, aircraft, drones, mobile and ground stations to study smoke from wildfires and agricultural crop fires across the United States.
Where There’s Fire, There’s Smoke—and Secrets For Science to Uncover
Climate Change to Make Hot Droughts Hotter in the US Southern Plains
Droughts are recurrent, disruptive weather events whose impacts are often compounded by extreme and prolonged heat waves. Now a new NOAA study in the Journal of Climate warns that in the already warm and frequently dry southern Great Plains and Southwest, climate change will make these “hot droughts” significantly hotter—and longer—than they used to be.
CIRES, NOAA Scientists Receive Presidential Honor
The White House has named three Boulder atmospheric scientists among 309 recipients of the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers. The PECASE is the highest honor bestowed by the U.S government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their research careers.
Brian McDonald and Andrew Rollins were both working with the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder when nominated; Rollins is now a federal scientist at NOAA. Their colleague Andrew Hoell of NOAA in Boulder, Colorado, was also honored.