UBoC’s Ed Butt and Dom Spracklen have published a paper in Nature.com’s Scientific Reports: “Population exposure to hazardous air quality due to the 2015 fires in Equatorial Asia” – with researchers from Newcastle UK, Boulder Colorado USA, Singapore, Bloomington USA and Riau Province Indonesia.
The full authorship is P. Crippa, S. Castruccio, S. Archer-Nicholls, G. B. Lebron, M. Kuwata, A. Thota, S. Sumin, E. Butt, C. Wiedinmyer & D. V. Spracklen. (See here for individual links) http://www.nature.com/articles/srep37074
“Vegetation and peatland fires cause poor air quality and thousands of premature deaths across densely populated regions in Equatorial Asia. Strong El-Niño and positive Indian Ocean Dipole conditions are associated with an increase in the frequency and intensity of wildfires in Indonesia and Borneo, enhancing population exposure to hazardous concentrations of smoke and air pollutants. Here we investigate the impact on air quality and population exposure of wildfires in Equatorial Asia during Fall 2015, which were the largest over the past two decades. We performed high-resolution simulations using the Weather Research and Forecasting model with Chemistry based on a new fire emission product. The model captures the spatio-temporal variability of extreme pollution episodes relative to space- and ground-based observations and allows for identification of pollution sources and transport over Equatorial Asia. We calculate that high particulate matter concentrations from fires during Fall 2015 were responsible for persistent exposure of 69 million people to unhealthy air quality conditions. Short-term exposure to this pollution may have caused 11,880 (6,153–17,270) excess mortalities. Results from this research provide decision-relevant information to policy makers regarding the impact of land use changes and human driven deforestation on fire frequency and population exposure to degraded air quality.”
The paper has received considerable publicity.
- Indonesian forest fires exposed 69 million people to ‘killer haze’ Channel NewsAsia
- Killer haze, 2015 Indonesia wildfires Homeland Security News Wire
- Indonesian fires exposed 69 million to ‘killer haze’ EurekAlert!
- Research shows Indonesian wildfires exposed 69 million to unhealthy air pollution The Medical News
- Research shows Indonesian wildfires exposed 69 million to unhealthy air pollution Health Medicinet
- Indonesian fires exposed 69 million to ‘killer haze’ Science Daily
- 69m people breathed toxic smoke from 2015 Indonesian fires: study Mongabay
- 69m people breathed toxic smoke from 2015 Indonesian fires: study Eco Business