or agricultural usage, the resultant man caused fire event releases massive amounts of bio-mass particulates and aerosols into the atmosphere above Amazon. The pressing concern is how this pollution is affecting cloud formations and how the loss of those clouds may be causing a shift in the weather patterns that could threaten the entire Amazonian ecosystem.
Scientists Ilan Koren, and Lorraine Remer from the Weizmann Institute collaborated with Karla Longo from the Brazilian Center for Weather Forecasting and Climate Studies to construct a research model to better understand how smoke changes clouds in the Amazon. Smoke changes the size and number of cloud droplets, which affects the cloud density and the visual “brightness” of cloud formation. In theory this smoke layer, stabilizes and creates layers within atmosphere that directly suppresses updrafts that fuel cloud formation. Clouds are better at reflecting sunlight back into space than smoke, the scientist’s hypothesis considers that fires in the Amazon likely allow more solar energy than normal to enter the Earth’s climate system and are contributing to far reaching examples of climate change.
The scientists collected data from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) system at NASA’s Goddard Space Center. The MODIS satellite data was compiled and analyzed over an 8 year period (from 1998 to 2006). The research initially focused on how smoke influenced clouds on a day to day basis. But, as the study progressed the scientists noted that since 2000, there were large fluctuations in the density and proliferation of smoke between the years. Some years were relatively clean, and in other years the atmosphere was being highly polluted by the smoke from the man caused fires. When this was noted the scientists bi-furcated the research and looked at additional MODIS data from AVHRR (Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer) to look at look at the daily and monthly averages in the number of