Boulder scientist: Oil plus soot creates more warming during wildfires

During a wildfire, particles of soot in the air can become coated with oil, increasing the warming effect of the dark-colored particles by 50 percent to 70 percent, according to Boulder scientists who based their findings on an analysis of the smoky plumes produced by the Fourmile Fire.

Almost exactly two years ago — when the Fourmile Fire began burning in the canyons west of Boulder — local scientists were quick to recognize the tragic fire might also present a unique research opportunity.

For Dan Lack, scientist at the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, which is jointly managed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the University of Colorado, that meant opening a particle sampling port on the roof of the NOAA building on Broadway and allowing one of his instruments to begin characterizing the makeup of the smoke plume.

Daily Camera

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One response to “Boulder scientist: Oil plus soot creates more warming during wildfires

  1. Takes them a while to mention that it is not petroleum-based oil.

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