New report ‘braids’ Indigenous and Western knowledge for forest adaptation strategies against climate change

Severe droughts and wildfires, invasive species, and large insect outbreaks are straining national forests and surrounding lands. A new report outlines a new approach to forest stewardship that “braids together” Indigenous knowledge and Western science to conserve and restore more resilient forestlands in the U.S.

Scientists Reveal How Tar Particles from Wildfire Smoke Absorb and Refract Solar Radiation, Light in Atmosphere

A multi-institutional team of researchers studied how solar radiation from the sun interacts with individual tar balls. This research, featured on the cover of ACS Publications’ Environmental Science & Technology, provides insights into how wildfires influence climate change.

REBURN: A new tool to model wildfires in the Pacific Northwest and beyond

A new tool, REBURN, can simulate large forest landscapes and wildfire dynamics over decades or centuries under different wildfire management strategies.

Canadian wildfires and air quality: MSU experts can comment on public health, climate change impacts, pets and wildlife

Contact:  Emilie Lorditch, University Communications, [email protected]; Nardy Baeza Bickel, MSU Health Sciences: [email protected]; EAST LANSING, Mich. – Wildfires in Canada are creating hazy skies and prompting air quality concerns from the Midwest to the East Coast of the United States. Michigan…

GW Experts Available: Smoke From Canadian Wildfires Remains Hazardous, Expands Reach

WASHINGTON (June 8, 2023)–The U.S. east coast continues to face hazardous and unhealthy air quality levels from Canada’s wildfires with many cities including New York, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. experiencing the worst air quality in years. The National Oceanic and…

US forests face an unclear future with climate change

Climate change might compromise how permanently forests are able to store carbon and keep it out of the air. In a new study, researchers found that the regions most at risk to lose forest carbon through fire, climate stress or insect damage are those regions where many forest carbon offset projects have been set up. The authors assert that there’s an urgent need to update these carbon offsets protocols and policies.

Scientists Map Changes in Soot Particles Emitted from Wildfires

We need a better understanding of the particles emitted by wildfires, including how they evolve, so we can improve our predictions of their impacts on climate, climate change, and human health. Atmospheric scientists at Brookhaven National Laboratory and collaborating institutions recently published a study that suggests the global climate models aren’t getting the full picture. Their data could change that.

Ogo Enekwizu Brings Soot-seeded Clouds into the Laboratory

Tiny particles in Earth’s atmosphere can have a big impact on climate. But understanding exactly how these aerosol particles form cloud drops and affect the absorption and scattering of sunlight is one of the biggest sources of uncertainty in climate models. Ogochukwu (Ogo) Enekwizu is trying to tame that complexity by creating soot-seeded aerosol particles in a lab.

New Technique Maps Large-scale Impacts of Fire-induced Permafrost Thaw in Alaska

For the first time, researchers have developed a machine learning-based ensemble approach to quantify fire-induced thaw settlement across the entire Tanana Flats in Alaska, which encompasses more than 3 million acres. They linked airborne repeat lidar data to time-series Landsat products (satellite images) to delineate thaw settlement patterns across six large fires that have occurred since 2000. The six fires resulted in a loss of nearly 99,000 acres of evergreen forest from 2000 to 2014 among nearly 155,000 acres of fire-influenced forests with varying degrees of burn severity. This novel approach helped to explain about 65 percent of the variance in lidar-detected elevation change.

For 400 years, Indigenous tribes buffered climate’s impact on wildfires in the American Southwest

Devastating megafires are becoming more common, in part, because the planet is warming. But a new study led by SMU suggests bringing “good fire” back to the U.S. and other wildfire fire-prone areas, as Native Americans once did, could potentially blunt the role of climate in triggering today’s wildfires.

Western Wildfires Spark Stronger Storms in Downwind States

A new study shows for the first time that wildfires burning in West Coast states can strengthen storms in downwind states. Heat and tiny airborne particles produced by western wildfires distantly intensify severe storms, in some cases bringing baseball-sized hail, heavier rain and flash flooding to states like Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, and the Dakotas.

UCLA-led study finds California’s greenhouse gas reductions could be wiped out by 2020 wildfires

A new analysis led by researchers with the University of California has found the 2020 wildfires in the state, the most disastrous wildfire year on record, put twice as much greenhouse gas emissions into the Earth’s atmosphere as the total reduction in such pollutants in California between 2003-2019.

EXPERT: Wildfire expert available to comment on wildfire policy, management, risk reduction, prescribed fire, response and recovery

Cassandra MoseleyUniversity of Oregon Research Professor, Institute for a Sustainable Environment; Senior Policy Advisor, Ecosystem Workforce ProgramCassandra Moseley focuses on wildfire policy and management including wildfire risk reduction, prescribed fire, community preparation, response, and recovery, as well as wildfire suppression…

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 researcher gets NSF-backed grant to study wildfires’ effects on farmworkers

Michael Méndez of the University of California, Irvine has received a two-year, $400,000 grant from the National Center for Atmospheric Research’s Early Career Faculty Innovator Program. It will fund a joint project with researchers at NCAR – which is sponsored by the National Science Foundation – exploring the disparate treatment of undocumented Latino/Latina and Indigenous migrant farmworkers during extreme wildfire events in Sonoma County.

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.

New report: State of the science on western wildfires, forests and climate change

Seeing the urgent need for change, a team of scientists from leading research universities, conservation organizations and government laboratories across the West has produced a synthesis of the scientific literature that clearly lays out the established science and strength of evidence on climate change, wildfire and forest management for seasonally dry forests. The goal is to give land managers and others across the West access to a unified resource that summarizes the best-available science so they can make decisions about how to manage their landscapes.

California’s carbon mitigation efforts may be thwarted by climate change itself

Irvine, Calif., July 22, 2021 – To meet an ambitious goal of carbon neutrality by 2045, California’s policymakers are relying in part on forests and shrublands to remove CO2 from the atmosphere, but researchers at the University of California, Irvine warn that future climate change may limit the ecosystem’s ability to perform this service.

Air pollution from wildfires impacts ability to observe birds

Researchers from the University of Washington provide a first look at the probability of observing common birds as air pollution worsens during wildfire seasons. They found that smoke affected the ability to detect more than a third of the bird species studied in Washington state over a four-year period. Sometimes smoke made it harder to observe birds, while other species were actually easier to detect when smoke was present.

Johns Hopkins Expert Available to Discuss Heat Wave in U.S. West

As triple-digit temperatures scorch millions in California and the Desert West, stoking wildfires and exacerbating drought conditions, Johns Hopkins experts can discuss the environmental and health impacts of the heat wave, and how officials can better prepare for the rest…

Evacuating under dire wildfire scenarios

Climate change has made wildfires in the West catastrophic—and common disaster responses are unprepared for this new reality. A team of researchers led by the University of Utah proposed a framework for simulating dire scenarios, which the authors define as scenarios where there is less time to evacuate an area than is required.

Orangutan Finding Highlights Need to Protect Habitat

Wild orangutans are known for their ability to survive food shortages, but scientists have made a surprising finding that highlights the need to protect the habitat of these critically endangered primates, which face rapid habitat destruction and threats linked to climate change. Scientists found that the muscle mass of orangutans on the island of Borneo in Southeast Asia was significantly lower when less fruit was available. That’s remarkable because orangutans are thought to be especially good at storing and using fat for energy, according a Rutgers-led study in the journal Scientific Reports.

@POTUS decision comes at a time when we are bracing for a particularly challenging #wildfire season: Dr. Mary Rice. @atscommunity

Mary Rice, MD, MPH,  is a pulmonary and critical care physician at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.  As a physician, she cares for adults with respiratory disease, including asthma and chronic obstructive…

California’s wildfire season has lengthened, and its peak is now earlier in the year

Irvine, Calif., April 22, 2021 — California’s wildfire problem, fueled by a concurrence of climate change and a heightened risk of human-caused ignitions in once uninhabited areas, has been getting worse with each passing year of the 21st century. Researchers in the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering at the University of California, Irvine have conducted a thorough analysis of California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection wildfire statistics from 2000 to 2019, comparing them with data from 1920 to 1999.

Michigan Tech remote sensing, ecology experts available to speak to wildfire carbon emissions, climate-related ecosystem changes

Michigan Technological University has remote sensing and ecology experts available to speak to wildfire carbon emissions, climate-related ecosystem changes, and the effects of wildfires on peatlands — which act as huge carbon sinks and when burned release an incredible amount…

Wildfire Experts

Daniel Cayan: Research meteorologist who studies climate impacts on water, wildfire, health, and agriculture in California and western North America. Manages the California-Nevada Applications Program, which creates tools like the drought tracker.  Sasha Gershunov: Research meteorologist who focuses on understanding…

West Coast wildfires: Disaster research experts can discuss evacuation plans, multiple crises, health concerns and more

Experts from the University of Delaware’s Disaster Research Center can provide analysis and advice on evacuations, health concerns, risk perception, dealing with multiple crises and more in reference to the wildfires raging in California, Oregon and Washington state. Tricia Wachtendorf:…

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…