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Gregory R Wentworth, Yayne-Abeba Aklilu, Matthew S Landis, Yu-Mei Hsu
During May 2016 a very large boreal wildfire burned throughout the Athabasca Oil Sands Region (AOSR) in central Canada, and in close proximity to an extensive air quality monitoring network. This study examines speciated 24-h integrated polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) and volatile organic compound (VOC) measurements collected every sixth day at four and seven sites, respectively, from May to August 2016. The sum of PAHs (ΣPAH) was on average 17 times higher in fire-influenced samples (852 ng m-3 , n = 8), relative to non-fire influenced samples (50 ng m-3 , n = 64)...
April 2018: Atmospheric Environment
David Mills, Russell Jones, Cameron Wobus, Julia Ekstrom, Lesley Jantarasami, Alexis St Juliana, Allison Crimmins
BACKGROUND: The public health community readily recognizes flooding and wildfires as climate-related health hazards, but few studies quantify changes in risk of exposure, particularly for vulnerable children and older adults. OBJECTIVES: This study quantifies future populations potentially exposed to inland flooding and wildfire smoke under two climate scenarios, highlighting the populations in particularly vulnerable age groups (≤4 y old and ≥65 y old)...
April 17, 2018: Environmental Health Perspectives
Vivek K Arora, Joe R Melton
The terrestrial biosphere currently absorbs about 30% of anthropogenic CO2 emissions. This carbon uptake over land results primarily from vegetation's response to increasing atmospheric CO2 but other factors also play a role. Here we show that since the 1930s increasing population densities and cropland area have decreased global area burned, consistent with the charcoal record and recent satellite-based observations. The associated reduced wildfire emissions from increase in cropland area do not enhance carbon uptake since natural vegetation that is spared burning was deforested anyway...
April 17, 2018: Nature Communications
Nate Seltenrich
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
April 13, 2018: Environmental Health Perspectives
Jack Lewis, Jonathan J Rhodes, Curtis Bradley
The Battle Creek wa tershed in northern California was historically important for its Chinook salmon populations, now at remnant levels due to land and water uses. Privately owned portions of the watershed are managed primarily for timber production, which has intensified since 1998, when clearcutting became widespread. Turbidity has been monitored by citizen volunteers at 13 locations in the watershed. Approximately 2000 grab samples were collected in the 5-year analysis period as harvesting progressed, a severe wildfire burned 11,200 ha, and most of the burned area was salvage logged...
April 11, 2018: Environmental Management
Zachary S Wettstein, Sumi Hoshiko, Jahan Fahimi, Robert J Harrison, Wayne E Cascio, Ana G Rappold
BACKGROUND: Wildfire smoke is known to exacerbate respiratory conditions; however, evidence for cardiovascular and cerebrovascular events has been inconsistent, despite biological plausibility. METHODS AND RESULTS: A population-based epidemiologic analysis was conducted for daily cardiovascular and cerebrovascular emergency department (ED) visits and wildfire smoke exposure in 2015 among adults in 8 California air basins. A quasi-Poisson regression model was used for zip code-level counts of ED visits, adjusting for heat index, day of week, seasonality, and population...
April 11, 2018: Journal of the American Heart Association
Aaron C Greenville, Emma Burns, Christopher R Dickman, David A Keith, David B Lindenmayer, John W Morgan, Dean Heinze, Ian Mansergh, Graeme R Gillespie, Luke Einoder, Alaric Fisher, Jeremy Russell-Smith, Daniel J Metcalfe, Peter T Green, Ary A Hoffmann, Glenda M Wardle
An unprecedented rate of global environmental change is predicted for the next century. The response to this change by ecosystems around the world is highly uncertain. To address this uncertainty, it is critical to understand the potential drivers and mechanisms of change in order to develop more reliable predictions. Australia's Long Term Ecological Research Network (LTERN) has brought together some of the longest running (10-60years) continuous environmental monitoring programs in the southern hemisphere...
April 5, 2018: Science of the Total Environment
Grace E Vincent, Sally Ferguson, Brianna Larsen, Nicola D Ridgers, Rod Snow, Brad Aisbett
PURPOSE: To examine the effects of sleep restriction on firefighters' physical task performance, physical activity, and physiological and perceived exertion during simulated hot wildfire conditions. METHODS: 31 firefighters were randomly allocated to either the hot (n = 18, HOT; 33 °C, 8-h sleep opportunity) or hot and sleep restricted (n = 13, HOT + SR; 33 °C, 4-h sleep opportunity) condition. Intermittent, self-paced work circuits of six firefighting tasks were performed for 3 days...
April 6, 2018: International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health
S Costafreda-Aumedes, C Vega-Garcia, C Comas
Wildfire suppression management is usually based on fast control of all ignitions, especially in highly populated countries with pervasive values-at-risk. To minimize values-at-risk loss by improving response time of suppression resources it is necessary to anticipate ignitions, which are mainly caused by people. Previous studies have found that human-ignition patterns change spatially and temporally depending on socio-economic activities, hence, the deployment of suppression resources along the year should consider these patterns...
March 26, 2018: Journal of Environmental Management
Marcos Francos, Paulo Pereira, Meritxell Alcañiz, Xavier Úbeda
Post-fire management practices after wildfires have an important impact on soil properties. Nevertheless, little research has been carried out. The aim of this study is to examine the impact of different post-wildfire forest management practices in a 10-month period immediately after a severe wildfire on soil properties. Two months after a wildfire, three experimental areas were designed, each one with different post-fire management: Cut and Remove (CR) where burned trunks were cut after fire and removed manually from the area; No Treatment (NT) where no intervention was carried out; and, Cut and Leave (CL) where burned trunks were cut and left randomly on topsoil...
March 22, 2018: Science of the Total Environment
Erin J Hanan, Christina Tague, Janet Choate, Mingliang Liu, Crystal Kolden, Jennifer Adam
Disturbances such as wildfire, insect outbreaks, and forest clearing, play an important role in regulating carbon, nitrogen, and hydrologic fluxes in terrestrial watersheds. Evaluating how watersheds respond to disturbance requires understanding mechanisms that interact over multiple spatial and temporal scales. Simulation modeling is a powerful tool for bridging these scales; however, model projections are limited by uncertainties in the initial state of plant carbon and nitrogen stores. Watershed models typically use one of two methods to initialize these stores: spin-up to steady state, or remote sensing with allometric relationships...
March 24, 2018: Ecological Applications: a Publication of the Ecological Society of America
Lauren Nicole Dupéy, Jordan W Smith
Social science research from a variety of disciplines has generated a collective understanding of how individuals prepare for, and respond to, the risks associated with prescribed burning and wildfire. We provide a systematic compilation, review, and quantification of dominant trends in this literature by collecting all empirical research conducted within the U.S. that has addressed perceptions and behaviors surrounding various aspects of prescribed burning and wildfire. We reviewed and quantified this literature using four thematic categories covering: (1) the theory and methods that have been used in previous research; (2) the psychosocial aspects of prescribed burning and wildfire that have been studied; (3) the biophysical characteristics of the fires which have been studied; and (4) the types of fire and management approaches that have been examined...
March 23, 2018: Environmental Management
M K Obryk, A G Fountain, P T Doran, W B Lyons, R Eastman
Annually averaged solar radiation in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica has varied by over 20 W m-2 during the past three decades; however, the drivers of this variability are unknown. Because small differences in radiation are important to water availability and ecosystem functioning in polar deserts, determining the causes are important to predictions of future desert processes. We examine the potential drivers of solar variability and systematically eliminate all but stratospheric sulfur dioxide. We argue that increases in stratospheric sulfur dioxide increase stratospheric aerosol optical depth and decrease solar intensity...
March 22, 2018: Scientific Reports
Dong Chen, Tatiana V Loboda, Tao He, Yi Zhang, Shunlin Liang
The Siberian larch forests, taking up about a fifth of the global boreal biome, are different from the North American boreal forests in that they generally do not undergo a secondary succession. While wildfires in the boreal forests in North America have been shown to exert a cooling effect on the climate system through a sharp increase in surface albedo associated with canopy removal and species composition change during succession, the magnitude of the surface forcing resulting from fire-induced albedo change and its longevity in Siberia have not been previously quantified...
March 19, 2018: Scientific Reports
Beverly E Law, Tara W Hudiburg, Logan T Berner, Jeffrey J Kent, Polly C Buotte, Mark E Harmon
Strategies to mitigate carbon dioxide emissions through forestry activities have been proposed, but ecosystem process-based integration of climate change, enhanced CO2 , disturbance from fire, and management actions at regional scales are extremely limited. Here, we examine the relative merits of afforestation, reforestation, management changes, and harvest residue bioenergy use in the Pacific Northwest. This region represents some of the highest carbon density forests in the world, which can store carbon in trees for 800 y or more...
March 19, 2018: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Nur Adilla Che Samsuddin, Md Firoz Khan, Khairul Nizam Abdul Maulud, Ahmad Hazuwan Hamid, Fahia Tarannum Munna, Muhammad Aizat Ab Rahim, Mohd Talib Latif, Md Akhtaruzzaman
Southeast Asian haze is a semi-natural phenomenon that chokes the region each year during the dry monsoon season. Smoke-haze episodes caused by the vegetation and peat fires in Indonesia severely affected large parts of Malaysia during the 2015 El Niño phenomenon. This study aimed to evaluate the factors that influenced the concentrations of aerosol and trace gases during the 2015 haze and non-haze period on a semi-urban site in the southern part of Malaysian peninsula that facing Sumatra (Muar, Site A), and on an urban site near to Kuala Lumpur, influenced by the city centre (Cheras, Site B)...
March 5, 2018: Science of the Total Environment
Antonio J Fernández-González, Ana V Lasa, Manuel Fernández-López
We report here the draft genome sequences of two Arthrobacter strains isolated from a holm oak forest affected by wildfire. Both strains were shown to act as plant growth promoters, with AFG20 being a member of the most abundant group found in this soil and AFG7.2 being the strain with the highest indole-3-acetic acid production level.
March 15, 2018: Genome Announcements
Meagan Tyler, Peter Fairbrother
This paper considers the impact of gendered norms on decision-making for wildfire preparation and response at the household level. Focusing on Australia, it provides a theoretical thematic analysis of data acquired in 107 interviews with residents of nine different localities. It builds on existing research on gender and disaster, as well as on decision-making and wildfires, and analyses the narratives that centre on 'split' households plans (where a male partner plans to stay and a female partner plans to evacuate) and disagreements within heterosexual couples as to an appropriate wildfire safety plan...
March 13, 2018: Disasters
Volker C Radeloff, David P Helmers, H Anu Kramer, Miranda H Mockrin, Patricia M Alexandre, Avi Bar-Massada, Van Butsic, Todd J Hawbaker, Sebastián Martinuzzi, Alexandra D Syphard, Susan I Stewart
The wildland-urban interface (WUI) is the area where houses and wildland vegetation meet or intermingle, and where wildfire problems are most pronounced. Here we report that the WUI in the United States grew rapidly from 1990 to 2010 in terms of both number of new houses (from 30.8 to 43.4 million; 41% growth) and land area (from 581,000 to 770,000 km2 ; 33% growth), making it the fastest-growing land use type in the conterminous United States. The vast majority of new WUI areas were the result of new housing (97%), not related to an increase in wildland vegetation...
March 12, 2018: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
J Parente, M G Pereira, M Amraoui, E M Fischer
Heat waves (HW) can have devastating social, economic and environmental impacts. Together with long-term drought, they are the main factors contributing to wildfires. Surprisingly, the quantitative and objective analysis leading to the identification and characterization of HW in current and future climate conditions as well as its influence on the occurrence of extreme wildfires (EW) has never been performed for Portugal and are the main objectives of this study. For this reason, we assess HW in recent past and future climate based on a consistent high resolution meteorological database and have compared their occurrence with long and reliable, precise and detailed information about Portuguese fire events...
March 9, 2018: Science of the Total Environment
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