Fire cloud — up close

Click to enlargeNOAA/NASA

❝ On August 8, 2019, a team of atmospheric scientists got an exceedingly rare look at fire clouds as they were forming. NASA’s DC-8 flying laboratory passed directly through a large pyrocumulonimbus that day as it was rising from a fire in eastern Washington. The flight was part of a joint NOAA and NASA field campaign called FIREX-AQ. Scientists are studying the composition and chemistry of smoke to better understand its impact on air quality and climate…

❝ The photograph above, shot from roughly 30,000 feet (9 kilometers), shows the setting Sun shining through thick smoke at 8 p.m. Mountain Time. Particles in the smoke reflect light in ways that make the Sun appear orange…

The flight was the most detailed sampling of a pyrocumulonimbus in history, explained Peterson. A second research aircraft flew over the plume a few hours earlier in the day, and mobile labs on the ground also made detailed measurements.

Amazing photos. Quality and timing should offer useful analysis, learning for future events and their global effect.

One thought on “Fire cloud — up close

  1. McLeod says:

    “Rethinking our resilience to wildfire” (University of Colorado Denver 8/30/19)
    “The 2017 wildfire season was the most extensive and expensive in U.S. history. Fires scorched 10 million acres in the western U.S. and federal fire-suppression expenditure surpassed a record $2.9 billion. There’s no end to the record breaking in sight: climate change will continue to produce longer, drier fire seasons with substantial burning that will consume residential developments. In a paper released last week, researchers have found that society is doing little to adapt in the aftermath.
    “Often, after a fire, a community rebuilds, allows everything to grow back and continues to function the same way,” said Brian Buma, PhD, assistant professor in the department of integrative biology at University of Colorado Denver. “But humans have changed the playing field with climate change. Many times, something burns and the vegetation that comes back is coming back differently – or not at all – in the new climate. We can no longer force the systems to stay the same and we have to adapt with them. It may not be what we’re used to, but it may be the new reality.”
    Buma, along with several biologists and sociologists across the U.S., laid out an appeal for the paradigm shift in a paper for the journal Nature Sustainability. It is an appeal not just to think about fire, but to fundamentally rethink our relationships with fire – one that, in the future, has to have fire as an integral component of the landscape (including around our houses, parks, and cities).”
    See also: A Trailblazing Plan to Fight California Wildfires (The New Yorker)
    Response to New Yorker Wildfire Article (The Wildlife News)

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