Impact of Biomass Burning on Earth’s Radiation Budget, Air Quality and Human Health

A special issue of Atmosphere (ISSN 2073-4433). This special issue belongs to the section "Air Quality".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 July 2024 | Viewed by 1609

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Guest Editor
Atmospheric Science and Global Change Division, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA 99352, USA
Interests: cloud and radiative transfer models; aerosol-cloud-radiation interaction; remote sensing

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Guest Editor
Earth Systems Analysis & Modeling, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA 99352, USA
Interests: measurements and modeling of secondary organic aerosols (SOA); physical and chemical evolution of SOA in the atmosphere; SOA impacts on direct and indirect radiative forcing; health effects of organic particles
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Guest Editor
Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM 87545, USA
Interests: atmospheric chemistry; carbon cycle; climate science; carbon sequestration; energy and environment

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Guest Editor
Brookhaven National Laboratory, Environmental and Climate Sciences Department, Upton, MA, USA
Interests: aerosols

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Biomass burning emissions greatly impact both the atmospheric composition of trace gases and aerosols and their respective loadings, cloud formation and precipitation, and can be responsible for severe localized weather events and pyrocumulonimbus outbreaks, all shaping the Earth’s radiative budget.  Additionally, because these emissions are strongly dependent on burn ecosystems (e.g., vegetated and urban ecosystems), their impacts on air quality and, in turn, human health can vary significantly.  Recent work has highlighted that the severity and frequency of wildfires are likely to increase in the future because of global warming and that this trend could limit the effectiveness of future mitigation strategies focused on the prevention of and reduction in wildfire consequences. The key component of these strategies, which include wildfire management that will achieve less fire-prone environments and cleaner air, is an improved understanding of the relationships between biomass burning emissions and (i) the climate, (ii) weather, and (iii) ecosystems.

We invite original research and review articles that cover laboratory and field measurements, ground-based and satellite retrievals, and modeling studies to further our understanding of the complex biomass burning relationships and impacts highlighted above. Specific areas of interest include, but are not limited to, integrated analyses and multi-modelling frameworks aimed at understanding complex aerosol–cloud–radiation interactions and wildfire air quality–human health connections (e.g., smoke toxicity). Approaches for handling the wildland–urban interface, such as the effects of wildland biomass burning events on human health in urban areas, are also encouraged.

Dr. Evgueni Kassianov
Dr. Manish Shrivastava
Prof. Manvendra Dubey
Dr. Arthur J. Sedlacek
Guest Editors

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Published Papers (1 paper)

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12 pages, 2288 KiB  
Technical Note
Potential Health Impacts from a Wildfire Smoke Plume over Region Jämtland Härjedalen, Sweden
by Andreas Tornevi, Camilla Andersson, Ana Carvalho, Joakim Langner and Bertil Forsberg
Atmosphere 2023, 14(10), 1491; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos14101491 - 26 Sep 2023
Viewed by 1025
Abstract
In the summer of 2018, Sweden experienced widespread wildfires, particularly in the region of Jämtland Härjedalen during the final weeks of July. We previously conducted an epidemiological study and investigated acute respiratory health effects in eight municipalities relation to the wildfire air pollution. [...] Read more.
In the summer of 2018, Sweden experienced widespread wildfires, particularly in the region of Jämtland Härjedalen during the final weeks of July. We previously conducted an epidemiological study and investigated acute respiratory health effects in eight municipalities relation to the wildfire air pollution. In this study, we aimed to estimate the potential health impacts under less favorable conditions with different locations of the major fires. Our scenarios focused on the most intense plume from the 2018 wildfire episode affecting the largest municipality, which is the region’s only city. Combining modeled PM2.5 concentrations, gridded population data, and exposure–response functions, we assessed the relative increase in acute health effects. The cumulative population-weighted 24 h PM2.5 exposure during the nine highest-level days reached 207 μg/m3 days for 63,227 inhabitants. We observed a small number of excess cases, particularly in emergency unit visits for asthma, with 13 additional cases compared to the normal 12. Overall, our scenario-based health impact assessment indicates minor effects on the studied endpoints due to factors such as the relatively small population, limited exposure period, and moderate increase in exposure compared to similar assessments. Nonetheless, considering the expected rise in fire potential due to global warming and the long-range transport of wildfire smoke, raising awareness of the potential health risks in this region is important. Full article
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