6/21/2023: Climate cooling strategy may raise wildfire risk in some areas

American Geophysical Union21 June 2023

Featured research

Climate cooling strategy may raise wildfire risk in some areas

Scientists have proposed injecting aerosols that reflect sunlight into the stratosphere to cool global temperatures. But this climate intervention method could actually increase wildfire risk in some regions such as western Central Africa. [Earth’s Future research]

South Asia and Africa to face increased lung cancer risk due to biomass burning

Organic matter is burned during biomass fuel consumption and other activities, creating a cancer-causing byproduct known as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Future changes in emissions and climate may increase PAH-associated risks in south Asia and Africa by 2050. [Earth’s Future research]

Rising temperatures limit mobility in densely populated areas

A study found that people in San Francisco were less likely to leave their homes due to excessive heat during the COVID-19 pandemic, noting the role of local temperature during a period of already restricted mobility. Lower-income communities were found to be less likely to change their day-to-day mobility than higher-income communities. [GeoHealth research]

Three Gorges Dam turned China’s largest freshwater lake into a carbon sink

The Three Gorges Dam has dramatically altered the surrounding ecosystem, including lowering Poyang Lake’s water level. This has allowed for an expansion of carbon-absorbing wetland vegetation. As a result, the country’s largest freshwater lake has changed from a carbon source to a carbon sink as the surrounding greenery sequesters carbon dioxide. [Geophysical Research Letters research]

Mapping beaver dams with machine learning

Beavers are ecosystem engineers, altering the landscape and ecosystems as they build their dams. Scientists are using machine learning to detect beaver dams across the United States and learn more about their impacts to local environments. [JGR Biogeosciences research] [Eos Editor’s Highlight]

*** Visit the AGU Newsroom to register for access to AGU journals and find experts and featured research in various topic areas. Visit eos.org to read Research Spotlights and Editors’ Highlights.

***   AGU (www.agu.org) is a global community supporting more than half a million advocates and professionals in Earth and space sciences. Through broad and inclusive partnerships, AGU aims to advance discovery and solution science that accelerate knowledge and create solutions that are ethical, unbiased and respectful of communities and their values. Our programs include serving as a scholarly publisher, convening virtual and in-person events and providing career support. We live our values in everything we do, such as our net zero energy renovated building in Washington, D.C. and our Ethics and Equity Center, which fosters a diverse and inclusive geoscience community to ensure responsible conduct.