AOS Applications Seminar: Could Wildfires Amplify Drought and Heatwave?

 January 20, 2022
 AOS Applications Seminar
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 were discussed in this series.