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Title: Impacts of vegetation fire emissions on the environment, human health, and security: a global perspective

Author: Goldammer, Johann G.; Statheropoulos Milt, Milt; Andreae, Meinrat O.;

Date: 2009

Source: In: Bytnerowicz, Andrzej; Arbaugh, Michael; Andersen, Christian; Riebau, Allen. 2009. Wildland Fires and Air Pollution. Developments in Environmental Science 8. Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Elsevier. pp. 3-36

Publication Series: Book

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Air pollution generated by vegetation fire smoke (VFS) is a phenomenon that has influenced the global environment in prehistoric and historic time scales. Although historic evidence of the impacts of VFS on societies is scarce, there are indications that VFS has been a factor that influenced society significantly since the Middle Ages. In recent decades, increasing application of fire as a tool for land-use change has resulted in more frequent occurrence of extended fire and smoke episodes with consequences on human health and security. Some of these events have been associated with droughts that are attributed to inter-annual climate variability or possible consequences of regional climate change. In metropolitan or industrial areas, the impacts of VFS may be coupled with the emission burden from fossil fuel burning and other technogenic sources, resulting in increasing adverse affects on the human population. We review the character, magnitude, and role of pyrogenic gaseous and particle emissions on the composition and functioning of the global atmosphere, human health, and security. Special emphasis is given on radioactive emissions generated by fires burning in peatlands and on terrain contaminated by radionuclides. The transboundary effects of VFS pollution are a driving argument for developing international policies to address the underlying causes for avoiding excessive fire application, and to establish sound fire and smoke management practices and protocols of cooperation in wildland fire management at an international level.

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Goldammer, Johann G.; Statheropoulos, Milt; Andreae, Meinrat O. 2009. Impacts of Vegetation Fire Emissions on the Environment, Human Health, and Security: A Global Perspective. In: Bytnerowicz, Andrzej; Arbaugh, Michael; Andersen, Christian; Riebau, Allen 2009. Wildland Fires and Air Pollution. Developments in Environmental Science 8. Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Elsevier. pp. 3-36


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