Research Meteorologist / Leader, Atmospheric Science Team
320 Green Street
Athens, GA 30602-2044
Contact Yongqiang Liu
Mega-fires under Changing Climate and Fuel This study, funded by the Joint Fire Science Program (JFSP), is to identify present and project future mega-fires and evaluate their air quality impacts. The research objectives include: (1) To build mega-fire probability functions and atmospheric pattern thresholds for mega-fire breakout. (2) To project areas and seasons of future mega-fires. The fire probability together with the atmospheric patterns will be major tools for future mega-fire projection. (3) To obtain present fuel loading and project future trends. Present fuel conditions are obtained from the FCCS with their seasonal variation specifications based on simulated carbon pools. (4) To simulate smoke transport from present and future mega-fires. (5) To evaluate the smoke impacts on air quality. Ground PM2.5 and ozone concentrations are analyzed to identify major large U.S. urban areas where air quality and human health are most likely threatened by future mega-fires.
Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation Management Options (CCAMMO) CCAMMO is an SRS cross station climate change project. The goal of this project is to provide land management options that buffer the effects of future climatic conditions on a variety of ecosystem services to land managers, who are faced with the challenge of how to manage today’s forests to adapt to and mitigate the impacts of future climate change. The CCAMMO project analyzes relationships among management practices, assesses risks and values of the southern forest ecosystem under changing climate, and develops various management options for mitigation and adaptation. The research and synthesis results will be presented in a book. The objectives of related research with the fire team include: (1) proejcting wildfire risk under changing cliamte in the South, (2) understanding interactions with other ecosystem processes, and (3) providing management options to mitigate the impacts of potnatially incerased wildfire activity.
Wildland Fire Greenhouse Gas/Black Carbon (GHG/BC) Synthesis Project An FS R&D Core Team initiated an effort in summer of 2010 to review what is known about GHG/BC emissions from wildland fires across all biomes in the United States. This project was tasked by the Research Deputy Director/Assistant Director Group to produce a synthesis report focusing on synthesizing published information on GHG/BC emissions from wildland fires. It will answer questions concerning the extent, magnitude, and potential climate-driven acceleration of global fire emissions that are receiving heightened attention. Since many of our future fire management options in the United States will be impacted by answers to these questions, we need to synthesize the most current scientific information concerning fire emissions and identify future research needs.
My research is focused on climate-forest ecosystem interactions. It is aimed at understanding forest disturbances (wildfire, land cover change, and forest water stress), their interactions with climate variability and climate change, and the environmental consequences. The combined approach of field measurements, numerical modeing, and theoretical and statistical analyses is used to investigate the processes, mechanisms, and impascts of the disturbances and to develop evaluation and prediction techniques. This research is expected to help strategy development and implementation to reduce forest vulnerability to forest disturbances and their adverse environmental impacts.
Evaluation and improvement of smoke plume rise models
Smoke plume rise, also called plume height, is the height where the smoke particles can reach after they are ejected from wildland fires. It ranges from tens of meters for prescribed fires to thousands of meters for wildfires. Plume height is an important factor for local and regional air quality modeling. Fire emissions, if injected into higher elevations, are likely to be transported out of the rural burn site by prevailing winds and therefore possibly affect air quality nearby and remote populated urban areas in downwind direction. Plume rise is a parameter required by many regional air quality models.
Efforts have been made recently that led to the developments of a number of smoke plume models with various levels of complexity. Smoke plume height model evaluation, however, has been a big challenge because of the lack in smoke measurements. This makes it difficult to understand the performance and uncertainties of smoke models. Fire and smoke model validation is one of the fundamental research issues in the Smoke Science Plan, prepared for the U.S. Joint Fire Science Program (JFSP).
The study, funded by JFSP, is to evaluate and improve the performance of Daysmoke, a plume rise model, and to understand the significance for smoke and air quality modeling of prescribed burning. A combined approach of field measurement, numerical modeling, and dynamical and statistical analysis is used to obtain data, conduct simulation and evaluation, and improve the model. The research products include datasets of smoke measurements, case and statistical evaluation results of Daysmoke and other plume rise models, and GIS supported Daysmoke. These products are expected to provide fire and air quality managers and modelers with quantitative information and tools for understanding the accuracy, limits, and uncertainty in plume rise calculation of prescribed burning, and their impacts on simulation and prediction of smoke transport and air quality effects.
- Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Ph.D. Atmospheric Dynamics, 1990
- Chinese Academy of Meteorological Sciences, Beijing, China , M.S. Climatology, 1986
- Nanjing Institute of Meteorology, Nanjing, China , B.S. Meteorology, 1982
- Adjunct Faculty, College of Sciences and Arts, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA
2007 - Current
- Adjunct Professor, School of Earth and Atmospheric Science, Georgia Institute of Technology
2005 - Current
- Research Meteorogist, Center for Forest Disturbance Science, USDA Forest Service
2002 - Current
- Senior Research Scientist, College of Sciences and Arts, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA
1998 - 2002
- Assistant Research Professor, Department of Environmental Science, Rutgers University, New Brunsvick, NJ
1995 - 1998
- PostDoc, Department of Meteorology and Physical Oceanography, Rutgers University, New Brunsvick, NJ
1993 - 1995
- Visiting Scholar, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO
1992 - 1993
- Assistant Research Scientist, Chinese Academy of Meteorological Sciences, Beijing, China
1990 - 1992
- Graduate Research Assistant, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
1986 - 1990
- Research Assistant / Graduate Research Assistant, Chinese Academy of Meteorological Sciences, Beijing, China
1982 - 1986
Featured Publications & Products
- Liu, Y.; Stanturf, J.; Goodrick, S. 2010. Wildfire potential evaluation during a drought event with a regional climate model and NDVI.
- Liu, L.; Achtemeier, G.L.; Goodrick, S.L.; Jackson, W. 2010. Important parameters for smoke plume rise simulation with Daysmoke.
- Liu, Y.-Q. 2010. A numerical study on hydrological impacts of forest restoration in the southern United States.
- Liu, Y.; Goodrick, S.; Achtemeier, G. 2009. Smoke incursions into urban areas: simulation of a Georgia prescribed burn.
- Qu, John J.; Hao, Xianjun; Liu, Yongqiang; Riebau, Allen R.; Yi, Haoruo; Qin, Xianlin. 2009. Remote sensing applications of wildland fire and air quality in China.
Publications & Products
- Mitchell, Robert J.; Liu, Yongqiang; O’Brien, Joseph J.; Elliott, Katherine J.; Starr, Gregory; Miniat, Chelcy Ford; Hiers, J. Kevin. 2014. Future climate and fire interactions in the southeastern region of the United States.
- Heilman, Warren; Liu, Yongqiang; Urbanskic , Shawn; Kovalevd, V.; Micklere, R. 2014. Wildland fire emissions, carbon, and climate: Plume rise, atmospheric transport, and chemistry processes.
- Liu, Yongqiang; Goodrick, Scott; Heilman, Warren. 2014. Wildland fire emissions, carbon, and climate: Wildfire–climate interactions.
- Sun, Ge; Liu, Yongqiang. 2013. Forest Influences on Climate and Water Resources at the Landscape to Regional Scale.
- McNulty, Steven; Sun, Ge; Mohan, Jacqueline; Prestemon, Jeffrey; Johnsen, Kurt; Liu, Yongqiang. 2013. Forests and Climate Change in the Southeast.
- Maschinski, J.; Ross, M.; Liu, Yongqiang; O'Brien, Joseph; von Wettberg, E.; Haskins, K. 2011. Sinking ships: conservation options for endemic taxa threatened by sea level rise.
- Wang, W.; Qu, J.J.; Hao, X.; Liu, Y. 2009.
Analysis of the moderate resolution imaging spectroradiometer contextual algorithm for small fire detection.
- Wang, W.; Qu, J.J.; Hao, X.; Liu, Y. 2009. Analysis of the moderate resolution imaging spectroradiometer contextual algorithm for small fire detection, Journal of Applied Remote Sensing Vol.3.
- Liu, Yongqiang; Stanturf, John; Lu, Houquan. 2008. Modeling the potential of the Northern China forest shelterbelt in improving hydroclimate conditions.
- Liu, Yongqiang; Achtemeier, Gary; Goodrick, Scott. 2008. Sensitivity of air quality simulation to smoke plume rise.
- Wang, Wanting; Qu, John J.; Xianjun Hao, ; Liu, Yongqiang; Sommers, William T. 2006. An improved algorithm for small and cool fire detection using MODIS data: A preliminary study in the southeastern United States.
- Liu, Yongqiang. 2006. North Pacific warming and intense northwestern U.S. wildfires.
- Achtemeier, Gary L.; Goodrick, Scott; Liu, Yongqiang. 2005. A coupled modeling system for connecting prescribed fire activity data through CMAQ for simulating regional scale air quality.
- Liu, Yongqiang. 2005. Atmospheric response and feedback to radiative forcing from biomass burning in tropical South America.
- Liu, Yongqiang. 2005. Enhancement of the 1988 northern U.S. drought due to wildfires.
- Liu, Yongqiang; Qu, John J.; Hao, Xianjun; Wang, Wanting. 2005. Improving Fire Emission Estimates in the eastern United States Using Satellite-Based Fuel Loading Factors.
- Liu, Yongqiang. 2005. Land Breeze and Thermals: A Scale Threshold to Distinguish Their Effects.
- Liu, Yongqiang; Avissar, Roni. 2005. Modeling of the Global Water Cycle - Analytical Models.
- Liu, Yongqiang; Achtemeier, Gary; Goodrick, Scott. 2005. Simulation and Experiment of Air Quality Effects of Prescribed Fires in the Southeast.
- Liu, YongQiang. 2004. Variability of wildland fire emissions across the contiguous United States.
- Liu, Yongqiang. 2003. Atmospheric Response And Feedback To Smoke Radiative Forcing From Wildland Fires.
- Liu, Yongqiang. 2003. Prediction of monthly-seasonal precipitation using coupled SVD patterns between soil moisture and subsequent precipitation.
- Liu, Yongqiang. 2003. Spatial And Temporal Variability Of Wildland Fire Emissions Over The U.S..
- Liu, Yongqiang. 2003. Spatial patterns of soil moisture connected to monthly-seasonal precipitation variability in a monsoon region.
- Achtemeier, Gary L.; Goodrick, Scott L.; Liu, Yongqiang. 2003. The southern high-resolution modeling consortium - a source for research and operational collaboration.
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