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The changing risk and burden of wildfire in the United States [Sustainability Science]
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America ( IF 9.412 ) Pub Date : 2021-01-12 , DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2011048118
Marshall Burke, Anne Driscoll, Sam Heft-Neal, Jiani Xue, Jennifer Burney, Michael Wara

Recent dramatic and deadly increases in global wildfire activity have increased attention on the causes of wildfires, their consequences, and how risk from wildfire might be mitigated. Here we bring together data on the changing risk and societal burden of wildfire in the United States. We estimate that nearly 50 million homes are currently in the wildland–urban interface in the United States, a number increasing by 1 million houses every 3 y. To illustrate how changes in wildfire activity might affect air pollution and related health outcomes, and how these linkages might guide future science and policy, we develop a statistical model that relates satellite-based fire and smoke data to information from pollution monitoring stations. Using the model, we estimate that wildfires have accounted for up to 25% of PM2.5 (particulate matter with diameter <2.5 μm) in recent years across the United States, and up to half in some Western regions, with spatial patterns in ambient smoke exposure that do not follow traditional socioeconomic pollution exposure gradients. We combine the model with stylized scenarios to show that fuel management interventions could have large health benefits and that future health impacts from climate-change–induced wildfire smoke could approach projected overall increases in temperature-related mortality from climate change—but that both estimates remain uncertain. We use model results to highlight important areas for future research and to draw lessons for policy.



中文翻译:

美国野火的风险和负担不断变化[可持续性科学]

最近全球野火活动急剧增加和致命地增加,人们更加关注野火的成因,后果以及如何减轻野火的风险。在这里,我们收集了有关美国野火变化的风险和社会负担的数据。我们估计,美国目前在荒野与城市的交界处有近5000万套房屋,每3年增加一百万套房屋。为了说明野火活动的变化如何影响空气污染和相关的健康后果,以及这些联系如何指导未来的科学和政策,我们开发了一种统计模型,将基于卫星的火灾和烟气数据与污染监测站的信息联系起来。使用该模型,我们估计野火占PM的25%近年来,美国各地的烟尘排放量为2.5(直径<2.5μm的颗粒物),而在西方一些地区则高达一半,其环境烟雾暴露的空间格局不符合传统的社会经济污染暴露梯度。我们将该模型与典型方案进行了结合,显示出燃料管理干预措施可能具有巨大的健康益处,并且由气候变化引起的野火烟雾对健康的未来影响可能接近气候变化导致的与温度相关的死亡率的总体预期增长,但两种估计值仍然存在不确定。我们使用模型结果来强调未来研究的重要领域并吸取政策教训。

更新日期:2021-01-12
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