Abstract: Implications of climate change on health impact of forest fires in Europe

Objective.

Emissions of small particulate matter (PM2.5) and ozone precursors from forest fires can travel over large distances deteriorating the air quality thousands of kilometers away. Europe is a densely populated continent, thus potentially large populations can be affected by such fires. There are indications that climate change may lead to longer and dryer summers in the south of Europe, factors that are important determinants of frequency and extent of forest fires. We ask the questions: What is the typical air quality impact of forest fires in Europe, and what can we expect in a future climate. What is the health impact of forest fires observed in Europe today, and will climate change significantly influence that impact.

Material and methods.

The summer of 2003 was extremely dry and hot in Europe, and an unusual number of forest fires were observed. Climate change scenarios indicate that at the end of this century the summer of 2003 may be a typical climatic situation in Europe. We use emission data from the Global Fire Emission Database version 2 (GFEDv2) from 2003 along with 2003 meteorological data in an atmosphere-chemistry transport model to estimate the concentration of PM2.5 and ozone in Europe. These estimates are used as the future scenario. We use the year 2001 as a typical year under the current climate regime for comparison. Based on concentration and population density we estimate population weighted exposure. Combined with dose-response functions for acute mortality, and observed frequency in Europe we estimate the increase in mortality during a fire episode.

Results.

Preliminary results indicate that one typical day of fire leads to a 0.25-3µg/m3 increase in PM2.5 concentration over an area of 120 000 km2 affecting more than 68 million people and indicating an estimated increase in premature deaths of approximately 100 individuals.

This abstract has been published in EPIDEMIOLOGY. 18(5) Suppl:S106-S107, September 2007.

Referanse

Mestl, Heidi Elizabeth Staff, Terje Berntsen, Gunnar Myhre and Ragnhild Bieltvedt Skeie, 2007. Abstract: Implications of climate change on health impact of forest fires in Europe. International Society for Environmental Epidemiology, 19th Annual Conference "Translating environmental epidemiology into action: Interventions for a healthy future", September 5-9 2007. Mexico City.

Flere detaljer

  • Språk: Engelsk
  • Kategori: Konferanseartikler
  • Tittel: Abstract: Implications of climate change on health impact of forest fires in Europe
  • År: 2007
  • Rapport tittel: International Society for Environmental Epidemiology, 19th Annual Conference "Translating environmental epidemiology into action: Interventions for a healthy future", September 5-9 2007
  • Conference location: Mexico City

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