High-latitude Fires, Arctic Climate, Environment, and Health (HiFACE 3)

21 March 2024 | 08:30 - 12:30 (UK)

Open Session - HYBRID

Room:  Holyrood (JMCC) 

Organiser:  Adriana Ford, Matt Kasoar, Steve Arnold and James Ford (UK), Marianne Tronstad Lund (Norway), Michael Karcher (Germany), Vito Vitale (Italy).

Full session information including the Agenda


This session will provide an overview of current understandings of complex interactions between climate systems, ecosystems, and society. It will identify knowledge and research gaps, and together we will work towards developing recommendations for an interdisciplinary research agenda.


High-latitude fires are increasing in frequency and intensity, with extreme wildfire events documented in recent years across Alaska, Fennoscandia, Greenland, and the Russian Federation. Last year, Canada experienced its most intense and widespread fire season ever, with analysis by the World Weather Attribution group indicating that more seasons such as this are now far more likely because of climate change. These wildfires have 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. For the largest fire events, hazardous pollution can extend across continental scales and beyond.

We require a new interdisciplinary understanding of the complex interactions between climate systems, ecosystems, and society, so that we can better understand how changes in fire activity relate to changes in the climate and terrestrial environment, and how these changes impact upon the wellbeing, livelihoods, culture, and economic development of high-latitude communities, as well as how communities can best respond and manage these risks in a changing Arctic environment. To do this, we need to review what is known about these interactions, identify the most important research gaps, and develop a new interdisciplinary research agenda that incorporates a spectrum of disciplines and perspectives.

Session Format

This session builds on two previous workshops, held at the ASSW 2022 and at ISAR-7 in 2023. It is split into two parts. The first part will involve presentations covering four key themes, with opportunity for Q&A.

  • Theme 1 Earth system interactions and feedbacks (Marianne Tronstad Lund, CICERO)
  • Theme 2: Challenges with remoteness (Adriana Ford, Leverhulme Centre for Wildfires, Environment and Society)
  • Theme 3: Community vulnerability and resilience (Ivan Villaverde Canosa, University of Leeds)
  • Theme 4: Adaptation (James Ford, University of Leeds)

The second part will be workshop-style and interactive. Participants will have the opportunity to identify any missing topics/ points within the four identified key themes, and contribute to the recommendations and research agenda. The key recommendations will be presented at the Arctic Council’s wildfire session on 25th March (Fire in focus - How the Arctic Council addresses wildland fires).

We will be using shared online documents (e.g. Google Docs) in Part 2. It is recommended, but not essential (as notes will be made) to have a laptop to hand.  Finally, we will have a short session on communicating fire pollution health risk for high latitude communities. Contributors in Part 2 will have the opportunity to co-author or be included in the acknowledgements of the paper.


You do not need to register before attending, but it would be good to have an idea of numbers and composition (and to communicate in relation to the workshop and its outputs). If you are planning to attend, please can you complete this form.

Participation and Financial Support

Everyone with an interest in high-latitude fires, from different perspectives and disciplines, is welcome to participate.  We particularly welcome Indigenous participants and fire practitioners.

*We will cover the online day rate for Indigenous participants, and Early Career Researchers working on a relevant topic (high-latitude fires). Please email us to arrange this.*


The event is organised 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) (Steve Arnold, University of Leeds; Marianne Tronstad Lund CICERO)
  • Leverhulme Centre for Wildfires, Environment and Society(Adriana Ford, Matt Kasoar, Imperial College London,)
  • Arctic Voices(James Ford, University of Leeds)
  • Arctic PASSION(Michael Karcher, AWI, Vito Vitale, CNR-ISP)


Please contact Adriana Ford at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with any queries