Climate.gov tweet chat: Talk with experts about ongoing NASA/NOAA field campaign to study smoke from wildfires and agricultural burning

August 26, 2019

Fire is an important natural event in many ecosystems, and it also poses costly risks to human health and property. In recent years, North America has experienced a number of extreme wildfire seasons and extraordinary wildfire events, driven in part by declines in the health of wildland ecosystems. These changes are due in part to climate change and also to increases in human-caused fire ignitions as more people move into the wildland-urban interface. These factors have contributed to increases in the exposure of populations to direct and indirect impacts of fire, especially smoke.

tweet chat, FIREX, FIREX AQ, smoke, fire, pyroCB

Photo of a Pyrocumulonimbus cloud (pyroCB) taken over the Pacific Northwest on August 8, 2019 during the FIREX-AQ field campaign from the cockpit of the NASA DC-8 aircraft. The photo was taken by Dr. David Peterson of the Naval Research Laboratory.

Wildfire smoke is an incredibly complex and constantly evolving mixture of gases and particles, both solid and liquid. Smoke is directly related to negative health impacts, including aggravated asthma, chronic bronchitis, decreased lung function, congestive heart failure, and premature death. Small particles in wildfire smoke may result in exposures lasting hours to weeks.

Through the FIREX-AQ field campaign, NOAA and NASA are studying the chemistry and composition of smoke from wildfire and agricultural burning to improve weather, air quality, and climate forecasts, and to provide better information to first responders, and public health and land management officials.

On Thursday, August 29, from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. Eastern, join three experts in a smokey tweet chat to learn more. You'll find out how and why scientists headed to the sky as part of a massive, ongoing scientific field campaign known as FIREX-AQ.

The following experts will be answering questions:

  • Dr. Joshua "Shuka" Schwarz, Research Physicist at NOAA's Earth System Research Laboratory, Mission Scientist in the NOAA/NASA FIREX-AQ campaign
  • Dr. Steven Brown, Research Chemist at NOAA's Earth System Research Laboratory, Mission Scientist in the NOAA/NASA FIREX-AQ campaign who leads research done through NOAA's Twin Otters aircraft.
  • Dr. Kelley Barsanti, Associate Professor in the Department of Chemical & Environmental Engineering and Center for Environmental Research and Technology at UC Riverside.

Join us for a Smoke and Fire Tweet Chat

  • What: Tweet Chat—tweet your questions @NOAAClimate and use the hashtag #ClimateQA
  • When: August 29 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. EST
  • Where: https://twitter.com/NOAAClimate

Can’t make the chat? Return to this page in coming weeks; we will update this page with a selection of questions and answers from the discussion.