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…

Fallout from hurricanes, wildfires will hit immigrants hard

Hurricane Laura devastated parts of Louisiana and Texas last week with high winds and flooding, as communities in California battle severe wildfires. Federal government programs intended to help communities in the aftermath of disaster face additional challenges this year due…

Abated Breath: From COVID-19 to Wildfire Smoke and Air Pollution, Multiple Factors Threaten Lung Health This Summer

As we continue to grapple with the global pandemic, rising summer temperatures and wildfire season pose new challenges to our lung health. A team of pulmonologists and researchers at UC San Diego Health offer a wide variety of expertise and…

UNH Researchers Find Wildfires Can Alter Arctic Watersheds for 50 Years

Climate change has contributed to the increase in the number of wildfires in the Arctic where it can dramatically shift stream chemistry and potentially harm both ecosystems and humans. Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have found that some aftereffects, like decreased carbon and increased nitrogen, can last up to five decades and could have major implications on vital waterways.

Rutgers Expert Available to Discuss Climate Change Impacts on Land, Wildfires and Solutions

New Brunswick, N.J. (Jan. 15, 2020) – Rutgers University–New Brunswick Professor Pamela McElwee is available for interviews on climate change impacts on land, including increasing wildfires such as in Australia and California, and solutions. She is scheduled to testify before…

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 —…

Rutgers Expert Available to Discuss Australian Climate and Wildfires

New Brunswick, N.J. (Jan. 7, 2020) – Rutgers University–New Brunswick climatologist David A. Robinson is available for interviews on weather and climate conditions that have contributed to catastrophic wildfires in Australia. “The remarkable wildfire outbreak in Australia is a result of persistent drought…

Fluid Dynamics Provides Insight into Wildfire Behavior

The Kincade Fire has been burning through Sonoma County, displacing people from their homes and leaving destruction in its wake. It is a stark reminder of the increasingly pressing need for a better understanding of how fires begin and spread. This is where Rodman Linn and his research come in. He develops and uses computational models of the coupled interaction between the wildfires and surrounding atmosphere at Los Alamos National Laboratory. In the November 2019 issue of Physics Today, Linn describes a few of the many ways that fluid dynamics controls the behavior of fires.

Wireless networking researcher wins Air Force’s Young Investigator Award for research into smart drones

Northern Arizona University assistant professor Fatemeh Afghah is one of 40 recipients of the grant, given to foster creative basic research in science and engineering, enhance career development and provide opportunities for engineers to address military challenges in science and engineering.

Rutgers Expert Can Discuss Indonesian Fires Threatening Orangutans

New Brunswick, N.J. (Sept. 23, 2019) – Rutgers University–New Brunswick Professor Erin R. Vogel, an expert on endangered orangutans, is available to comment on tropical forest fires threatening the Tuanan Orangutan Research Station in the Mawas Conservation Area on the…

Rutgers Expert Can Discuss Fires in Amazon Rainforests

New Brunswick, N.J. (Aug. 27, 2019) – With numerous fires raging in ecologically priceless Amazon rainforests, Rutgers University–New Brunswick Professor Laura C. Schneider can comment on current fire patterns (the number of fires and their location), linkages to tropical rain…