The Impact of Biomass Burning on Climate and Air Quality: An Intensive Study of Western North America Fires

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NOAA Field and Laboratory Studies during 2016-2019

Steering Committee: James M. Roberts1, Carsten Warneke1,2, Joshua P. Schwarz1, Robert J. Yokelson3, R. Bradley Pierce4, Barry Lefer5, James H. Crawford6, Kirk R. Baker7, Amy P. Sullivan8

Contributors: Joost A. de Gouw1,2, Karl Froyd1,2, Daniel M. Murphy1, Ru-Shan Gao1, Gregory J. Frost1,2, Michael K. Trainer1, Stuart A. McKeen1,2, James B. Burkholder1, John S. Daniel1, Eric J. Williams1, David W. Fahey1

  1. NOAA ESRL Chemical Sciences Division, Boulder, CO
  2. Cooperative Institute for Research in the Environmental Sciences (CIRES), University of Colorado, and NOAA, Boulder, CO
  3. Department of Chemistry, University of Montana, Missoula, MT
  4. NOAA NESDIS Center for SaTellite Applications and Research (STAR), Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies, Madison, WI
  5. NASA Earth Science Division, Tropospheric Composition Program, Washington, DC
  6. NASA Science Directorate, Chemistry and Dynamics Branch, Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA
  7. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, NC
  8. Department of Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO


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Americans’ health, security and economic wellbeing are tied to climate and weather. Every day, we see communities grappling with environmental challenges due to unusual or extreme events related to climate and weather. In 2017, the United States experienced a record-tying 16 climate- and weather-related disasters where overall costs reached or exceeded $1 billion. Combined, these events claimed 362 lives, and had significant economic effects on the areas impacted, costing more than $306 billion. Businesses, policy leaders, resource managers and citizens are increasingly asking for information to help them address such challenges.