Congratulations to Ph.D. student and HART Team member Kai Wilmont for his recent publication in Environmental Research Letters! The paper titled “Expanding number of Western US urban centers face declining summertime air quality due to enhanced wildland fire activity” analyzes how current wildfire trends in the Western US will impact air quality. Kai’s study utilizes measurements of particulate matter below 2.5 microns (PM2.5), organic carbon, and absorption aerosol optical depth to connect the presence of aerosols to the occurrence of wildfires in the Western US.
In a press release by the University of Utah, Kai comments that “we’re going to see more fire area burned in the Western US between now and in 2050” which will present challenges for mitigating air quality in the Western US. Kai’s work will help identify wildfire hotspots that impact air quality the most. The hope is that hotspot identification can be used by forest managers to determine where the most important locations to intervene are in regards to reducing the negative air quality impacts of wildfires.
Check out the press release here: https://attheu.utah.edu/facultystaff/wildfire-smoke-trends-worsening-for-western-u-s/
The full paper published in Environmental Research Letters can be found here: https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/abf966