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The smoke detectors

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle



Publication details

JournalPlanet Earth
DatePublished - 29 Jun 2012
Number of pages2
Original languageEnglish


Sarah Moller and colleagues spent part of last summer flying over Canada to learn more about wildfires and their impact on the environment. They affect up to 20 million hectares of northern forests every year. They do not just cause damage on the ground, but the plumes of gases they release are a major source of air pollution. Sarah's project studies the polluting effects of fires in boreal forests, which means the subarctic - north of 50°N. This type of fire is often called biomass burning. Locally the consequences are obvious; fires remove vegetation, endanger life and fill the air with thick black smoke. Sarah's team needs to know the age of the plume and understand how its chemistry changes over time, to let them predict what the air will be like by the time it reaches the UK.

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