Rampant Wildfires Will Affect Our Drinking Water

In a world of bigger, hotter fires, it is time to think of forests as vital infrastructure, and to invest in preserving these resources for the future

On Wildfires and Pollution

A new study from the Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres suggests that naturally caused forest fires emit three times as much pollution as previously estimated. The pollution is in the form of particulate matter, which is one of the most dangerous forms of pollution. These measurements were compared to controlled forest fires intentionally set, and the findings showed that controlled fires produced less particulates.  

Adjusting to Forests that Won't Stand Still

For a long time we ecologists thought that we could predict not only how forests would grow but also how their composition was likely to change over time.  And we could predict the effects of management actions: for example, If we chose to thin stands of trees in certain ways, we would expect predictable increases in the growth of the remaining trees, with more shrubs, grasses, and seedlings colonizing the gaps below the trees.