Superimposed on this important topic is a relatively new discovery, forest fire smoke in the stratosphere, an area of the atmosphere that begins nearly 38 thousand feet above the Earth’s surface.
As a result, a poorly understood aspect of wildfire behavior — pyrocumulonimbus firestorm dynamics and atmospheric impact — is becoming the focus of increasing attention. Pyrocumulonimbus (pyroCb) is a fire-started or augmented thunderstorm that in its most extreme manifestation injects huge abundances of smoke and other biomass burning emissions into the lower stratosphere. The reason is a particularly energetic form of ‘blowup’ caused by pyroCbs. Although known to form naturally and through anthropogenesis, attention to this topic has heightened with growing concern regarding anthropogenic climate forcing and the apparent increase of fires in the wildland/urban interface.