231431 Forest Fire Air Pollution in the Western U.S

Tuesday, November 9, 2010 : 11:10 AM - 11:30 AM

Christine Wiedinmyer, PhD , Atmospheric Chemistry Division, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO
Fires emit significant amounts of gases and particles to the atmosphere. As these emissions are transformed and transported through the atmosphere, the results can lead to detrimental impacts on air quality. Transport of smoke emissions into vulnerable communities both near and distant to fire locations could have negative health consequences. Further, as climate changes, particularly across the western U.S., fire frequency has been increasing, thus leading to degraded air quality. An emissions model has been developed to estimate the amount and timing of fire emissions. The estimates are used as inputs to models that simulate the atmospheric transport and chemistry of the fire emissions. This presentation will describe the emission estimates from fires and the results of air quality model simulations that use the emission estimates. Specific examples of air quality impacts from wildfires in California will be shown and implications of climate impacts discussed.

Learning Areas:
Environmental health sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe how fire emissions are estimated and impact air quality. Explain how climate change could, in future, affect air pollution related to wildfires in California and the western U.S.

Keywords: Air Quality, Climate Change

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I work on developing emissions models from various fires and have had many peer-reviewed publications on the topic.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.