Study from “Black Tuesday” bushfires finds link to PTSD

New research published in the Australian Journal of Rural Health has shown people who are forced to relocate after a bushfire are at a higher risk of suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, otherwise known as PTSD. Led by Associate Professor Venkatesan Thiruvenkatarajan from the University of Adelaide, and Dr Richard Watts from Flinders University, the researchers spoke with people affected by the 2005 “Black Tuesday” Eyre Peninsula bushfires, which took nine lives, destroyed 93 homes and blackened 80,000 hectares of land near Port Lincoln on 11 January, 2005.

Department of Energy Announces $10 Million for Research on Environmental Systems Science

Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced $10 million in funding for 12 projects to universities, academic institutions, federal research labs, and nonprofits within the area of Environmental System Science (ESS) research. Grants will focus on studies intended to improve the understanding and representation of the impact of wildfires and floods on ecosystems and watersheds, as well the role of plant-mediated water redistribution and fungal networks in shaping ecosystem and watershed function.

Wildfires disproportionately affect the poor

With fires raging from California to Alaska, the 2022 wildfire season is off to a violent start. It’s an ominous sign of what promises to be another record-breaking fire season in the U.S. Roughly 2 million acres burned last month. And major fires are currently scorching Idaho, Utah and California, threatening tens of thousands of Americans’ homes and livelihoods. Many of those at risk are lower-income Americans who face canceled homeowners insurance policies and rising premiums, according to new research from the University of Georgia.

GW Experts Available to Discuss Extreme Weather and Climate Change

WASHINGTON (July 19, 2022) — Much of Europe has been hit by the latest record shattering heat wave. Such sweltering temperatures are part of global trends toward climate-fueled high temperatures that can lead to wildfires and damaging health consequences. The…

UCI study: California’s trees are dying, and might not be coming back

The State of California is banking on its forests to help reduce planet-warming carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. But that element of the state’s climate-change solution arsenal may be in jeopardy, as new research from the University of California, Irvine reports that trees in California’s mountain ranges and open spaces are dying from wildfires and other pressures – and fewer new trees are filling the void.

Experts available to discuss wildfire activity, ecosystem recovery and costs

With climate change leading to an increase in wildfires throughout the American Southwest, Northern Arizona University has a number of experts available to discuss the different facets of wildfires, forest health and restoration, and fire response. Ryan Fitch, assistant professor…

Human-triggered California wildfires more severe than natural blazes

Irvine, Calif., June 6, 2022 – Human-caused wildfires in California are more ferocious than blazes sparked by lightning, a team led by scientists from the University of California, Irvine reported recently in the journal Nature Communications. The research could help scientists better understand fire severity and how likely a blaze is to kill trees and inflict long-term damage on an ecosystem in its path.

FSU expert investigating impact of prescribed burns

By: Bill Wellock | Published: May 23, 2022 | 4:38 pm | SHARE: Prescribed burns are an important tool for limiting the harmful effects of wildfires, but they require planning and proper conditions.The U.S. Forest Service recently announced a pause in the use of prescribed fire on National Forest System lands while the agency conducts a review of protocols and practices.

After California’s 3rd-largest wildfire, deer returned home while trees were ‘still smoldering’

While many animals have adapted to live with wildfires of the past — which were smaller, more frequent and kept ecosystems in balance across the West — it’s unclear to scientists how animals are coping with today’s unprecedented megafires. A team of researchers tracked a population of black-tailed deer before, during and after the 2018 Mendocino Complex Fire and found that most of the deer returned home within hours of the fire, while trees were still smoldering.

Berkeley Lab Mobilizes to Predict How Caldor Fire May Lead to Floods and Land Movement

After the Caldor Fire erupted in August 2021, scientists from Berkeley Lab launched a research project to study how the fire would affect the mountain ecosystem, including factors such as streamflow, groundwater levels, water quality, and possible soil erosion leading to floods and debris flow. They mobilized to burn areas to collect samples of water, sediment, and ash.

FSU expert available to discuss wildfire modeling

By: Bill Wellock | Published: August 26, 2021 | 10:49 am | SHARE: Every summer, communities across the country are threatened by wildfires. To help firefighters and land managers mitigate the destructiveness of fires, one of the tools they use is modeling software that predicts what a fire is likely to do next.Bryan Quaife, an assistant professor in the Florida State University Department of Scientific Computing and a faculty associate in the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Institute at FSU, studies fire modeling and fire dynamics.

Dryer, warmer night air is making some Western wildfires more active at night

Firefighters report that Western wildfires are starting earlier in the morning and dying down later at night, hampering their ability to recover and regroup before the next day’s flareup. A study shows why: The drying power of nighttime air over much of the Western U.S. has increased dramatically in the past 40 years.

Possible future for Western wildfires: Decade-long burst, followed by gradual decline

A model of the eastern California forests of the Sierra Nevada looks at the longer-term future of wildfires under future climate change scenarios. Results show an initial roughly decade-long burst of wildfire activity, followed by recurring fires of decreasing area — a pattern that could apply to other drought-prone regions of the West.

Disaster Response and Mitigation in an AI World

PNNL researchers are expanding PNNL’s operational Rapid Analytics for Disaster Response (RADR) image analytics and modeling suite to predict the path of fires, floods and other natural disasters, giving first responders an upper hand. The suite utilizes a combination of image-capturing technology (satellite, airborne, and drone images), artificial intelligence, and cloud computing, to not only assess damage but predict it as well.

As Wildfires Increase in Severity, Experts Call for Coordinated Federal Response;

In advance of a wildfire season projected to be among the worst, the American Thoracic Society has released a report that calls for a unified federal response to wildfires that includes investment in research on smoke exposure and forecasting, health impacts of smoke, evaluation of interventions, and a clear and coordinated communication strategy to protect public health.

Burning the Forest, Not Just the Trees

Wildfires affect both the visible parts of plants and the plant microbiome. Understanding these effects helps scientists mitigate the effects of wildfires. This research examined microbial DNA samples from tissues of young quaking aspen saplings after a prescribed burn. Aspen relies largely on fire to regenerate. This work demonstrates that fire affects the entire plant microbiome, not just nearby soil.

From Smoky Skies to a Green Horizon: Scientists Convert Fire-Risk Wood into Biofuel

Reliance on petroleum fuels and raging wildfires: Two separate, large-scale challenges that could be addressed by one scientific breakthrough. Researchers from two national laboratories have collaborated to develop a streamlined and efficient process for converting woody plant matter like forest overgrowth and agricultural waste – material that is currently burned either intentionally or unintentionally – into liquid biofuel.

UCI, Tsinghua U.: California’s 2018 wildfires caused $150 billion in damages

Irvine, Calif., Dec. 7, 2020 — In 2018, California wildfires caused economic losses of nearly $150 billion, or about 0.7 percent of the gross domestic product of the entire United States that year, and a considerable fraction of those costs affected people far from the fires and even outside of the Golden State. For a study published today in Nature Sustainability, researchers at the University of California, Irvine, China’s Tsinghua University and other institutions combined physical, epidemiological and economic models to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the impact of the blazes.

In fire-prone West, plants need their pollinators — and vice versa

2020 is the worst fire year on record in the United States. In the face of heartbreaking losses, effort and expense, scientists are still grappling with some of the most basic questions about how fire influences interactions between plants and animals in the natural world. A new study grounded in the northern Rockies explores the role of fire in the finely tuned dance between plants and their pollinators.

James Randerson, UCI professor of Earth system science, available to comment on western U.S. wildfires

Prof. Jim Randerson is a leading U.S. expert on human impacts on biogeochemical cycles, with particular empasis on climate and wildfires. A good summary of his research activities can be found here: https://sites.uci.edu/randersonlab/media/. Jim’s lab website: https://sites.uci.edu/randersonlab/. If you would…

Cost of climate change comes due with California wildfires

Wildfires continue to rage in California, Oregon and other western states as residents evacuate, while cities like San Francisco face eerie smoke cover and poor air quality. Kathleen Bergin, professor of law at Cornell Law School, is an expert in…

How do wildfires affect ecosystems, the atmosphere, & human health? Connecting wildfire fuel to how fires behave & what ends up in the smoke.

What are the effects of wildfires on the ecosystem, the atmosphere, and human health? Through remote sensing, Nancy French, senior research scientist at the Michigan Tech Research Institute, connects wildfire fuel to how fires behave and what ends up in…

Know the risks of investing in forests

Some governments are counting on planted forests as offsets for greenhouse gas emissions—a sort of climate investment. But as with any investment, it’s important to understand the risks. If a forest goes bust, researchers say, much of that stored carbon could go up in smoke.
Forests can be best deployed in the fight against climate change with a proper understanding of the risks to that forest that climate change itself imposes.

Toxicological Research on E-cigarettes, PFAS, Cannabinoids, Wildfires, and More to Be Presented during the SOT 59th Annual Meeting and ToxExpo

With 80+ Featured and Scientific Sessions and 2,000+ presentations showcasing advances in fundamental and translational sciences and emerging disciplines and technologies, the 59th Annual Meeting and ToxExpo of the Society of Toxicology is the largest forum for toxicological research in the world.

Burning to understand

Wildfires significantly impact the health of economies in the western United States that are highly dependent on tourism, agriculture, and timber. David Blunck, associate professor of mechanical engineering at Oregon State University, has been selected by the U.S. Department of Defense to spearhead a $2.1 million study examining the burning behavior of live fuels
in order to better predict and manage wildfires.

Scientists Available to Comment on Environmental Impacts of Australian Bushfires

As record wildfires continue to burn in Australia, people are wondering about their long-term impacts, including on the environment. To address these questions, two environmental science experts at IUPUI — Indiana University’s premier urban research campus in downtown Indianapolis —…