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Project ID: 10-S-02-1

Year: 2010

Date Started: 04/01/2010

Date Completed: 09/28/2012

Title: Identification of Necessary Conditions for Arctic Transport of Smoke from U.S. Fires

Project Proposal Abstract: New regulations for black carbon (BC) currently under consideration by Congress and the EPA could affect management decisions on wildfires and the ability to conduct prescribed burning. Congressional testimony has suggested various mitigation strategies for Arctic BC including shifting the seasonal timing of continental U.S. prescribed burning (e.g. Zender, 2007). However, many questions remain regarding when and how continental U.S. fires contribute to Arctic BC. In particular, what regions, type of fires, timing, and plume injection heights along with transport meteorological patterns are most likely to result in continental U.S. fires affecting the Arctic? To address these questions, we propose a 30-year high-resolution back-trajectory study coupled with map-typing of the synoptic meteorological patterns required for BC transport, the first of its kind focused directly on contiguous U.S. (CONUS) fires. The result of this work will determine the necessary conditions for emissions from a CONUS fire to potentially reach the Arctic based on fire type (e.g. wildfire vs. prescribed), fire location, time-of-year, and plume injection height. It will further determine, region by region, what synoptic meteorological progressions are required to allow Arctic transport and their frequency of occurrence. While other factors may limit the Arctic impact from any given fire (for example, smoke washing out in rainstorms), by determining the basic necessary conditions, this study will be able to focus future, more complex modeling studies, as well as current policy discussions, to those times and places of greatest interest. It can also provide an answer to the corollary question of Arctic impact  What are the times, places, and conditions where CONUS fires have little or no chance of impacting the Arctic? In addition to research results and summaries, a forecast tool will be developed that determines when conditions promoting BC transport to the Arctic are imminent based on daily operational National Weather Service predictions. The work will be coordinated with the EPA, the National Wildfire Coordinating Group Smoke Committee, and international black carbon efforts including the Task Force on Hemispheric Transport of Atmospheric Pollution (HTAP).

Principal Investigator: Narasimhan K. Larkin

Agency/Organization: Forest Service

Branch or Dept: PNW-AirFire Research Team


Other Project Collaborators

Type

Name

Agency/Organization

Branch or Dept

Co-Principal Investigator

Sean Raffuse

Sonoma Technology, Inc.

Co-Principal Investigator

Tara M. Strand

NZ Crown Research Institute (Scion)

Collaborator/Contributor

Patrick D. Dolwick

EPA-Environmental Protection Agency

Air Quality Planning & Standards

Collaborator/Contributor

Susan M. O’Neill

Forest Service

PNW-AirFire Research Team

Federal Cooperator

Brian E. Potter

Forest Service

PNW-Seattle-Managing Natural Disturbances

Federal Fiscal Representative

Rebecca A. Slick

Forest Service

PNW-Pacific Northwest Research Station


Project Locations

Consortium


Level

State

Agency

Unit

NATIONAL

FED


Project Deliverables

Final Report view or print

("Results presented in JFSP Final Reports may not have been peer-reviewed and should be interpreted as tentative until published in a peer-reviewed source.")

  ID Type Title
view or print   1782 Government Publication Mitigating the Impact of Prescribed Burning in the Continental United States Using Trends in Synoptic Scale Transport to the Arctic Region
    7261 Poster Black Carbon in the Arctic: Assessment of and Efforts to Reduce Black Carbon Emissions from Wildfires and Agricultural Burning in Russia
    7077 Invited Paper/Presentation Identification of Necessary Conditions for Transport to the Arctic
    7079 Invited Paper/Presentation Identifying the Potential for Arctic Transport of Smoke
    7081 Invited Paper/Presentation AirFire Science Applications: Beyond BlueSky
    7082 Invited Paper/Presentation Identification of Necessary Conditions for Transport to the Arctic
    7084 Invited Paper/Presentation Air Quality Modeling and Decision Support Tools for Wildland Fire
    7118 Invited Paper/Presentation Identifying Conditions Necessary for CONUS Fires to Impact the Arctic
    7119 Invited Paper/Presentation Climatology of Air Mass Transport to the Arctic from Locations of Prescribed Burning in the United States
  go to website 7161 Dataset (including spatial) 30-Year Climatology of Trajectories Released from CONUS Locations
  go to website 7162 Dataset (including spatial) 30-Year Climatologies of Backwards Trajectories Released From the Arctic Circle
  go to website 7163 Website Project website
  go to website 7165 Website Daily Predictions of Arctic Transport Potential
  go to website 7166 Website An Atlas of Arctic Transport Potential
    7168 Dataset (including spatial) Daily Predictions of Arctic Transport Potential
    7203 Invited Paper/Presentation Mitigating the Impact of Prescribed Burning in the Continental United States Using Trends in Synoptic Scale Transport to the Arctic Region
    7204 Invited Paper/Presentation Climatology of Air Mass Transport to the Arctic from Locations of Prescribed Burning in the United States
    7205 Invited Paper/Presentation Synoptic Scale Patterns and Variability in Long-Range Transport from the CONUS to the Arctic Circle: Informing Controlled Burn Strategy and Regulation

Supporting Documents

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