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September 25 2012

Airborne Analysis of Burning Amazon Forests Could Close Climate Model Gaps


A group of scientists from Brazil and the United Kingdom are taking an unusual tropical field trip: 21 days flying in and out of heavy smoke plumes from wildfires in the Amazon and measuring everything they can, from the size of cloud droplets to the thickness of the aerosol column up to the stratosphere.

The goal is to understand how burning biomass in South America is affecting the local weather and air quality, and to close crucial gaps in climate models about how the process changes Earth’s radiation balance.

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