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Monday, March 02, 2009

Invited seminar by Dr Paul Palmer on wildfire emissions observed from space

On 2 March 2009, Dr Paul Palmer from the School of Geosciences at The University of Edinburgh gave the talk "Vertical transport of surface fire emissions observed from space".

Dr Palmer's talk is part of an ongoing collaboration to bridge the gap between Fire science and Earth science with researchers at the BRE Centre of Fire Safety Engineering and School of Geosciences.

Abstract of his talk:
Wildfires are an integral part of the climate system. Only over the past decade have space-based measurements of surface properties and atmospheric chemistry measurements drawn attention to the widespread nature of biomass burning emissions and their subsequent long-range transport of pollutants. Rapid vertical mixing of trace gases associated with intense surface burning can reach the upper troposphere, with serious implications for interpreting resulting trace gas observations, but the frequency and nature of these events is currently unknown. I will outline a new methodology, based on Bayesian inference, to observe this vertical transport using satellite observations of carbon monoxide, a tracer of incomplete combustion. I will evaluate the method using close-by satellite measurements of aerosol optical properties and lidar measurements.

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