by Ellen Gray / BOISE, IDAHO/
NASA, NOAA and university researchers are on an Earth expedition this summer studying fires and their smoke in the U.S. West. On July 23 from Boise, Idaho, the Fire Influence on Regional to Global Environments and Air Quality or FIREX-AQ, kicked off its study of fire smoke, what gases and tiny particulates are in it, and how they evolve and travel over the course of the fire’s lifespan and beyond. By gaining a better understanding of fire behavior and smoke plumes from direct measurements, the research done here will benefit satellite measurements and air quality forecasting in the future, as well as improve our overall understanding of fire dynamics in the atmosphere and their effects on climate.
I’m Ellen Gray, a NASA science writer, and myself along with two NASA video producers, Katy Mersmann and Lauren Ward, will be shadowing the science team in Boise over the next week, sharing what it’s like to do science in the field with NASA’s DC-8 flying laboratory, two NOAA Twin Otter aircraft, and NASA Langley’s Mobile Laboratory, among many other moving parts that are taking measurements of smoke from the source.
We’ll be posting our day-to-day updates on the @NASAExpeditions Twitter and NASA Expeditions Facebook account and our deeper dives here and on the @NASAEarth Twitter and NASA Earth Facebook accounts. So follow along and stay tuned!