For Release: August 11, 1995
Catherine E. Watson
Release No. 95-081
Scientists Join Forces to Study Atmospheric Effects of Smoke
Over 80 researchers from the U.S. and Brazil will participate in
a five week study to determine how smoke from grassland and forest
fires affects clouds and the Earth's radiation budget. The
experiment, called SCAR-B (Smoke, Clouds, and Radiation - Brazil),
will take place in central Brazil from Aug. 16 - Sept. 22.
Small particles within smoke, called aerosols, can affect the
amount of energy reaching the Earth's surface by reflecting and/or
absorbing sunlight. Smoke aerosols can also affect clouds by acting
as small particles upon which clouds can form. Clouds formed from
smoke aerosols are believed to reflect and absorb energy in
different ways than clouds formed from natural particles such as
dust or sea salt.
The SCAR-B experiment, managed by NASA Langley Research Center,
is an outgrowth of several previous field experiments which have
taken place around the world. SCAR-B is the third SCAR experiment.
The first, SCAR-A (Atlantic), studied the effects of pollution
aerosols on clouds and the Earth's radiation budget off the coast
of the eastern U.S. in 1993. The second experiment, SCAR-C
(California), was conducted in 1994 to study the atmospheric
effects of smoke aerosols from wild and prescribed fires in the
U.S. Pacific Northwest.
The joint U.S./Brazilian SCAR-B experiment will involve
coordinated aircraft, surface, and satellite measurements. The
SCAR-B science team has members from 4 NASA centers, 2 U.S.
agencies, 5 U.S. universities, 12 Brazilian agencies and 6
Brazilian universities. The three instrumented aircraft include a
C-131A from the University of Washington, the NASA ER-2, and a
Bandeirante from the Brazilian Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas
Espaciais (INPE), of the Brazilian space agency.
Telephone interviews with the SCAR-B project manager, photos of
the ER-2, and B-roll video of the ER-2, savannas burning, and an
interview with the project manager, are available. For more
information please contact Catherine Watson at the NASA Langley
Office of Public Affairs: (804) 864-6122.
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