While a number of previously held studies have revealed the role of drought in strengthening the potency of wildfire, a newly conducted research by NASA has come up with the opposite view. The scientists from NASA have discovered a unique connection between wildfire and drought in Africa. Previously, we came across multiple factors that influence the drought events in Africa, some natural and some human-made. However, the connection found by NASA’s researcher is first-of-its-kind. The study published in the journal Environmental Research Letters has confirmed a link between wildfire and controlled blazing in Northern Sub-Saharan Africa and the water cycle of the region.
Researchers, while conducting the survey, tested multiple satellite data gathered by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer and the Tropical Rainfall Measurement Mission, done by NASA between 2001 and 2014. By analyzing the three years dataset, the analysts were able to clear up a solid relationship between wildfire activities and hydrological pointers, including all the factors that cause rain which comprised soil humidity, rainfall, evapotranspiration, and vegetation lushness.
According to Charles Ichoku, the lead author of the study and a senior scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center said in a new press release, “Initially, we sought after the general impacts of ablaze on the entire spectrum of the water cycle of the region. But later found that the events of wildfire hold a strong propensity to hold back rainfall in northern sub-Saharan Africa, which eventually trigger drought.
The report also suggests that Aerosols like smolder, dirt and other particulates in the atmosphere contributes to the cloud-forming nuclei, which can egg on rain clouds and rain. But a large quantity of aerosols discharged from the events of wildfire to the atmosphere can also break up water steam, making it less potential to do rainfall.
The new findings are published in the academic journal ‘Environmental Research Letters’ regrettably failed to counterfeit a direct link between rain and fire. However, now the scientists are working on the development of some superior and advanced climate models by employing the data found in their latest research, which may soon enable them to discover a more decisive connection between fire and precipitation.