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For the second year in a row, CMMAP was priviledged to host an international intern. Moises Garcia Rosa arrived from Puerto Rico where he is a senior at the University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez. Moises is majoring in Industrial Biotechnology with a minor in Meteorology.

Tropical biomass burning has long been recognized as a major source of trace gases and aerosols to the troposphere. In this study, we focus on burning in Southeast Asia, which is heavily impacted by human activities and climate. In this region, prior studies have shown that interannual variability in fires is closely linked to drought, which in turn is tied to the warm-phase ENSO (El Nino-Southern Oscillation) conditions.

We show that year-to-year variability in satellite-detected fire counts in Indonesia from 1995-2010, as reported by the ATSR World Fire Atlas, is strongly tied to the interannual variations in both the NOAA Multivariate ENSO Index (MEI) and the Southern Oscillation Index. Similar findings were derived for Vietnam, Malaysia, and the Philippines. At shorter timescales, month-to-month variations in fire counts in Indonesia were strongly related to phases of the Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO) that are associated with below-average rainfall in this region. Our results confirm that not only anthropogenic land-clearing activities, but regional climate influences, have strong impacts on the number and timing of biomass burning events observed by satellite in Southeast Asia.

Moises' summer research poster, Studies of variability in fire count in Indonesia: Effects of ENSO and MJO phase, may be found here (2MB).

Moises is interested in any meteorological area research that gives him the opportunity to improve his knowledge in meteorology combined with his major. He enjoys movies, going to the beach, video games, hiking and being with friends.