Estimating Emissions from Fires

DSRC entrance

Christine Wiedinmyer, Associate Director for Science, CIRES

Wednesday, September 27, 2017, 3:30 pm Mountain Time
DSRC 2A305


Fires, including wildfires, prescribed burns, agricultural burning, or residential biomass burning, emit substantial amounts of particles, reactive trace gases, and longer lived species to the atmosphere on regional and global scales. These emissions and the products from downwind chemical processing degrade air quality, impact regional climate, and contribute to negative human health outcomes. There are many existing efforts to quantify emissions from biomass burning. These take advantage of laboratory and field measurements, remote sensing observations, and various modeling tools. Despite great advances in the ability to identify and quantify emissions from biomass burning, the techniques used to predict emissions and understand their fate and transport in the atmosphere remain uncertain, and the subsequent estimates of the impacts are difficult to assess. This presentation will detail efforts to identify and quantify biomass burning emissions across scales, and highlight their importance and confounding factors in air quality, health, and climate impact assessments. I will give an overview of my past and current biomass burning research, highlighting key uncertainties in our ability to predict biomass burning emissions and their impact and addressing needs for the future.

Christine Wiedinmyer recently became the Associate Director for Science at the Cooperative Institute for Environmental Science (CIRES), overseeing the science portfolio of CU Boulder's largest research institute. Previously, she worked as a scientist in the Atmospheric Chemistry Observations & Modeling Laboratory of NCAR. Her research has focused on the emissions of trace gases and particles to the atmosphere and how these emissions impact atmospheric composition, air quality, and climate.

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