As Arctic fire intensity and frequency increases, Berkeley Lab scientists study microbes’ influence on post-wildfire conditions and show that more microbial activity may speed up recovery
After the Caldor Fire erupted in August 2021, scientists from Berkeley Lab launched a research project to study how the fire would affect the mountain ecosystem, including factors such as streamflow, groundwater levels, water quality, and possible soil erosion leading to floods and debris flow. They mobilized to burn areas to collect samples of water, sediment, and ash.
Scientists from Berkeley Lab and Sandia National Laboratories have collaborated to develop a streamlined and efficient process for converting woody plant matter like forest overgrowth and agricultural waste – material that is currently burned either intentionally or unintentionally – into liquid biofuel.
Over the last few years of frequent and intense wildfire seasons, many parts of the U.S. have experienced hazardous air quality for days on end. At the same time a number of low-cost air quality monitors have come on the market, allowing consumers to check the pollutant levels in their own homes and neighborhoods. So, air quality scientists at Berkeley Lab wanted to know: are these low-cost monitors any good?
A Q&A with Berkeley Lab indoor air scientists on protecting homes, schools, and other buildings, from air pollution during wildfires.
This summer, Alaska has experienced record high temperatures and devastating wildfires. If such events become more frequent, how might that impact our northernmost forests? A team of researchers projected that the combination of climate change and increased wildfires will cause the iconic evergreen conifer trees of Alaska to get pushed out in favor of broadleaf deciduous trees, which shed their leaves seasonally.