Impacts of increasing aridity and wildfires on aerosol loading in the intermountain Western US

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Video in TIB AV-Portal: Impacts of increasing aridity and wildfires on aerosol loading in the intermountain Western US

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Impacts of increasing aridity and wildfires on aerosol loading in the intermountain Western US
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Feedbacks between climate warming, land surface aridity, and wildfire-derived aerosols represent a large source of uncertainty in future climate predictions. Here, long-term observations of aerosol optical depth, surface level aerosol loading, fire-area burned, and hydrologic simulations are used to show that regional-scale increases in aridity and resulting wildfires have significantly increased summertime aerosol loading in remote high elevation regions of the Intermountain West of the United States. Surface summertime organic aerosol loading and total aerosol optical depth were both strongly correlated (p < 0.05) with aridity and fire area burned at high elevation sites across major western US mountain ranges. These results demonstrate that surface-level organic aerosol loading is dominated by summertime wildfires at many high elevation sites. This analysis provides new constraints for climate projections on the influence of drought and resulting wildfires on aerosol loading. These empirical observations will help better constrain projected increases in organic aerosol loading with increased fire activity under climate change.

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the study shows a direct link between drought wildfire and aerosol loading within the intermountain west during the summertime this is a unique approach because we incorporated atmospheric scientist with hydrologist to look at the large scale impacts of drought across the intermountain West in this figure you see colored regions that represent
mountains you also see box it's the
boxes represent sampling sites most boxes represent sites in which organic aerosols were sampled at the surface 2 of these boxes represent sites in which the aerosol optical depth was sampled from the surface of the white boxes represent sites where a direct correlation was found between drought in aerosol loading Let's take for example flat storm people and had a strong correlation between the Wasatch you winter mountains in the southern Colorado and the Arizona New Mexico mountains the gray boxes represent sites in which there was no correlation found you can see a pattern developed in which the strongest
correlation was found in the southern Rockies area as we discussed in the paper that was
due to the neurological flow and we looked specifically at 700 millibar level to show that the winds were directed toward the north east these are the correlations between fire area burned
and aerosol loading across the intermountain West in predicting future climate we hope this dataset can provide validation for the impact of wildfires on carousel loading in a future with larger and more wildfires
we will see an increase in Haiti's during the summertime in our most pristine places across the West