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Coupled fire–atmosphere feedback is essential for modeling wildland fire spread, especially extreme fire phenomena. In this chapter, the suite of current and emerging tools capable of modeling this complexity is examined; these tools now dominate fundamental wildland fire research and are starting to be applied to fire operations, training, and planning. Some of the barriers to progress and challenges to validating these tools highlighted in this chapter suggest more emphasis on three areas: a scale-dependent and purposeful approach to comparing model results with appropriate observations, recognizing the limitations of each; the quantification of the errors and under-specifications in fuel properties and the impact of each; and assessing large-scale simulations and directing observations to address priority research gaps, from a position informed by the vast catalog of atmospheric scientific research.
Wildland fires are among the most complicated environmental phenomena to model. Fire behavior models are commonly used to predict the direction and rate of spread of wildland fires based on fire history, fuel, and environmental conditions; however, more sophisticated computational fluid dynamic models are now being developed. This quantitative analysis of fire as a fluid dynamic phenomenon embedded in a highly turbulent flow is beginning to reveal the combined interactions of the vegetative structure, combustion-driven convective effects, and atmospheric boundary layer processes. This book provides an overview of the developments in modeling wildland fire dynamics and the key dynamical processes involved. Mathematical and dynamical principles are presented, and the complex phenomena that arise in wildland fire are discussed. Providing a state-of-the-art survey, it is a useful reference for scientists, researchers, and graduate students interested in wildland fire behavior from a broad range of fields.
We present an update of the ‘key points’ from the Antarctic Climate Change and the Environment (ACCE) report that was published by the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) in 2009. We summarise subsequent advances in knowledge concerning how the climates of the Antarctic and Southern Ocean have changed in the past, how they might change in the future, and examine the associated impacts on the marine and terrestrial biota. We also incorporate relevant material presented by SCAR to the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meetings, and make use of emerging results that will form part of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fifth Assessment Report.
Plumes of buoyant fluid rise in a stratified environment until their buoyancy with respect to the environment reverses, they become heavier than their surroundings and gravitational forces bring them to a halt. Obstacles to turbulent plume rise, occur in the form of external stratification and two-component mixing, which changes the buoyancy of the plume. Volcanic eruptions introduce large amounts of heat to the water column, and the question arises as to whether or not such eruptions can drive plumes up to the sea surface, and create a significant sea surface temperature anomaly.
A turbulent plume model is used to estimate the magnitude of an eruption which might be capable of driving a plume across the ocean's thermocline, which poses a substantial barrier to vertical motion—more so, for instance, than the tropopause with respect to atmospheric plumes. The confining effect of Earth's rotation helps to maintain stronger anomalies in the horizontal spreading phase of the motion at the sea surface. Plumes which cannot attain the surface may also have substantial temperature and salinity anomalies if these quantities vary in the the source or water column through which the plume rises and entrains water.
The effect of marine geothermal sources is mostly hidden from view, occuring for the most part on deep mid-ocean ridges where new crust is formed, or in basins where old crust is sinking into the Earth. Often the sources are thousands of metres deep, and require large institutional efforts merely to access them.
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