High-latitude Fires, Arctic Climate, Environment, and Health

28 March 2022 from 09:00 - 18:00 (CEST / GMT+2)

Open Meeting - HYBRID


Room:  1.343


Session Abstract: 

The increasing occurrence of high-latitude fires associated with climatic extremes has led to significant and urgent social, economic and health challenges for communities in these regions. Hazardous pollution levels, for example, are regularly observed to result from nearby fire emissions in high-latitude communities during spring and summer. However, despite high-latitude regions playing host to large annual fires, and with projections of increasing fire frequency, the contribution from these fires to pollutant health burdens is not well understood. Understanding how changes in fire activity relate to changes in the climate and terrestrial environment, and how these changes impact upon the wellbeing, livelihoods, and culture of high-latitude communities, requires interdisciplinary understanding of the complex interactions between climate systems, ecosystems and society.

The aim of this workshop is to share current state-of-the-art understanding on high-latitude fire impacts on climate, ecosystems, air quality and society in the Arctic and high latitudes, and to explore inter-disciplinary linkages, from PACES, ecosystem science, fire science, health, and social science communities, that could help drive forward new research on this topic.

The event will be arranged by a collaborative team involving:

  • PACES (Air Pollution in the Arctic: Climate, Environment and Societies)
  • ACRoBEAR (Arctic Community Resilience to Boreal Environmental change: Assessing Risks from fire and disease - University of Leeds)
  • Leverhulme Centre for Wildfires, Environment and Society (Imperial College London, King’s College London, University of Reading and Royal Holloway)
  • Arctic Voices (University of Leeds)

Possible sessions include:

  • Observational and modelling evidence for fire impacts on high latitude air pollution.
  • High latitude fire influence on contaminant re-mobilisation and infectious disease propagation.
  • Evidence for changes in high-latitude fire activity over recent decades and over the longer-term.
  • Linkages between large-scale climate variability and high-latitude fire activity.
  • Ecosystem responses to and drivers of fire activity.
  • Fire-climate feedbacks at high latitudes.
  • Societal vulnerability and responses to high latitude fire.
  • Health and economic costs of high latitude fire activity.

Through this workshop, we expect to develop an agenda for new interdisciplinary research topics under PACES on the theme of fires and their impacts. This will include synergies across short-lived climate forcer influences and Earth system feedbacks (PACES WG1) and societal impacts (PACES WG2), as well as synergies around land-surface and ecosystem research topics. We expect to publish a position paper outlining the current status of the research area and potential new directions.


Session Organizer: 

Adriana Ford This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.