Title: New Study Reveals Wildfires’ Contribution to Global Warming
Researchers at NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have made a groundbreaking discovery regarding the impact of wildfires on global warming. Smoke samples collected from wildfires in Arizona, Idaho, and Oregon in July and August 2019 have revealed the existence of a new type of particle known as dark brown carbon.
This newly discovered particle has been found to trap a significant amount of heat, suggesting that wildfires contribute more to global warming than previously thought. Dark brown carbon particles are even more abundant in smoke than black carbon, which is currently the second-largest contributor to global warming after carbon dioxide.
The smoke samples were collected using NASA’s Douglas DC-8 aircraft, as well as a mobile laboratory on the ground. In partnership with NOAA, this collaboration stresses the urgent need to better understand the warming effects of brown carbon, both from wildfires and from the burning of fossil fuels.
Climate models have traditionally underestimated the warming effects of organic carbon compared to black carbon. However, field observations conducted by NASA and NOAA indicate a different reality. The newly found dark brown carbon particles have been found to absorb light across the visible spectrum and maintain their integrity for at least three days, resisting light-induced bleaching.
Interestingly, brown carbon bleaches more rapidly in warmer and more humid climates closer to the ground. However, at higher altitudes, it can persist in the atmosphere for up to a year. Previous research has also linked brown carbon to the accelerated melting of glaciers and sea ice in the Arctic – an area experiencing faster warming than the rest of the planet.
These findings shed light on the unprecedented significance of wildfires in exacerbating global warming. With the ever-increasing frequency and intensity of wildfires around the globe, it is becoming crucial for scientists and policymakers to incorporate the impact of these fires into climate change models.
Understanding the warming effects of brown carbon and its multitude of sources will help in formulating effective strategies to address climate change. This research highlights the importance of continued efforts to mitigate wildfires while also focusing on reducing carbon emissions from fossil fuel consumption.
As wildfires continue to threaten communities and ecosystems, it is crucial to stay informed about their impact on global warming and advocate for sustainable practices to protect our planet.
“Travel aficionado. Incurable bacon specialist. Tv evangelist. Wannabe internet enthusiast. Typical creator.”