AOS Applications Seminar: Could Wildfires Amplify Drought and Heatwave?
 Thursday, 20-Jan-2022
 1:00 PM ET
The influence of drought and heatwaves on wildfires has been clearly shown in literature, but whether wildfires, especially their resultant aerosols, can amplify drought and heatwave is still largely unknown. This question has become increasingly important as wildfires have increased rapidly over many parts of the world, such as over western United States, in recent decades. In this presentation, I will give evidence of the non-linear influences of aerosols on clouds, precipitation and diabatic heating of the atmosphere as shown by joint use of MODIS, CloudSat, Aura/MLS, CALIPSO, and TRMM/GPM datasets to suggest that aerosols can induce a positive feedback between wildfire, drought and extreme surface temperatures both at cloud and regional scales. The limitations and challenges of these results and needed improvements of observations will be discussed.
About Our Speaker
Geometric optics model
Rong Fu is a professor in the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, and the Director of the Joint Institute of Regional Earth System Science and Engineering, at University of California, Los Angeles. She studies the causes of rainfall variability over tropical and subtropical continents, especially the impacts of global climate, terrestrial ecosystem, biomass burning, and oceanic variability on droughts. She is an elected fellow of the American Meteorological Society (AMS), the American Geophysical Union and the American Association For the Advancement of Science, respectively. She has also received NSF CAREER and NASA New Investigator Awards, and AMS Outstanding Achievement Award for biometeorology.