Robock, Alan, 1991: Surface cooling due to forest fire smoke.
J. Geophys. Res., 96, 20,869-20,878.
In four different cases of extensive forest fire smoke the surface
temperature effects were determined under the smoke cloud. In all
cases, daytime cooling and no nighttime effects were found. The
locations of smoke clouds from extensive forest fires in western
Canada in 1981 and 1982, in northern China and Siberia in 1987,
and in Yellowstone National Park in northwestern Wyoming in
1988 were determined from satellite imagery. As these smoke
clouds passed over the midwestern United States for the Canadian
and Yellowstone fires and over Alaska for the Chinese/Siberian
fires, surface air temperature effects were determined by comparing
actual surface air temperatures with those forecast by model output
statistics (MOS) of the United States National Weather Service.
MOS error fields corresponding to the smoke cloud locations
showed daytime cooling of 1.5 to 7°C under the smoke but no
nighttime effects. These results correspond to theoretical estimates
of the effects of smoke, and they serve as observational
confirmation of a portion of the nuclear winter theory. This also
implies that smoke from biomass burning can have a daytime
cooling effect of a few degrees over seasonal time scales. In order
to properly simulate the present climate with a numerical climate
model in regions of regular burning it may be necessary to include
this smoke effect.
Prepared by Alan Robock (firstname.lastname@example.org ) -
Last updated on April 21, 1999