6/14/2023: Bold prescribed burns could ease smoke in cities and vulnerable rural communities

American Geophysical Union14 June 2023

AGU News

Wildfires Special Collection for all your fire reporting needs

Explore AGU’s “Fire in the Earth System” special collection, which brings together more than 100 studies on wildfires past, present and future. It’s a great resource for digging up background information, discovering new angles and finding new sources for wildfire. [Peruse the Special Collection]

Featured video

The “hole” in the bottom of the sea

The Indian Ocean Geoid Low is the deepest dent in Earth’s gravitational field, but how did it get there? Researchers tackled this question in a new study and found that sinking slabs of an ancient oceanic plate deep into the mantle beneath Africa could be to blame.  [Video][Geophysical Research Letters research]

Featured research

Prescribed burns could reduce smoke exposure in vulnerable rural communities

The U.S. West Coast experiences frequent wildfires, threatening air quality for the region’s most vulnerable communities. Large-scale prescribed burning could mitigate this crisis and reduce the amount of smoke in rural communities and dense population centers across the West. [Harvard press release] [Earth’s Future research]

Large Greenland glacier at risk of melting

Scientists thought one of the largest glaciers in Greenland was stable; while ice around it has shrunk, it’s remained about the same size. But new analyses reveal subglacial channels are growing, suggesting the glacier is more vulnerable to climate change and melt than previously thought. [Geophysical Research Letters research]

Aerosols unexpectedly make parts of the ocean warmer While most of the ocean cools when aerosols are added into the atmosphere, parts of the Southern and North Atlantic oceans actually get warmer, a new study finds. The change in temperature depends on ocean currents, sea ice, the concentration of aerosols and where they are being emitted from. [JGR Oceans research]

Send in the drones: safely monitoring volcanic gas emissions

Scientists are sending drones into the plumes of active volcanoes to measure volcanic gases. The team tested this approach at Bagana Volcano in Papua New Guinea and are hoping to use drones to monitor more inaccessible volcanoes in the future. [Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems research] [Eos editor’s highlight]

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