South African Wildfires Help Cooling Climate, Recent Wyoming University Research


South African wildfires help cooling climate, according to the latest research performed by a team of physicists from the University of Wyoming. The study disclosed in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on March 5 showed that the biomass smoke melded with the low-level clouds forms a reflection pattern, which is really helpful for cool climate and also thwart the effects of greenhouses.

The team has explained how the South African wildfires may have a crucial function like cooling down the Earth’s climate. It is also described in the paper published by the University of Wyoming that how wildfire smoke gets created in South Africa, then interacts with Atlantic Ocean’s cloud and eventually intensifies the brightness of cloud over the ocean. In result of this process, a reflection forms that transfers the sunlight back to the space and adds more cooling effects to the climate.

For deeper study, the research team also studied the information obtained from the LiDAR system at the International Space Station, which tracks the location, distribution and composition of dust, aerosols, smoke, pollution and many other particulates lying in the atmosphere.

Professor from the Wyoming University’s Department of Atmospheric Science, Xiaohong Liu, who is the Wyoming Excellence Chair of Climate Science said in a statement that, “If you change the particles, you are changing the composition of the cloud. For our study, we found the smoke comes down and can mix within the clouds. The changed clouds are more reflective of sunlight. Brighter clouds counteract the greenhouse effect. It creates cooling.”