Fire influences on atmospheric composition, air quality and climate
Document Type: Journal Article
Author(s): Apostolos Voulgarakis; Robert D. Field
Publication Year: 2015

Cataloging Information

  • aerosols
  • biomass burning
  • CO - carbon monoxide
  • fires
  • injection height
  • O3 - ozone
  • radiative forcing
  • wildfires
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: June 12, 2019
FRAMES Record Number: 58012


Fires impact atmospheric composition through their emissions, which range from long-lived gases to short-lived gases and aerosols. Effects are typically larger in the tropics and boreal regions but can also be substantial in highly populated areas in the northern mid-latitudes. In all regions, fire can impact air quality and health. Similarly, its effect on large-scale atmospheric processes, including regional and global atmospheric chemistry and climate forcing, can be substantial, but this remains largely unexplored. The impacts are primarily realised in the boundary layer and lower free troposphere but can also be noticeable in upper troposphere/lower stratosphere (UT/LS) region, for the most intense fires. In this review, we summarise the recent literature on findings related to fire impact on atmospheric composition, air quality and climate. We explore both observational and modelling approaches and present information on key regions and on the globe as a whole. We also discuss the current and future directions in this area of research, focusing on the major advances in emission estimates, the emerging efforts to include fire as a component in Earth system modelling and the use of modelling to assess health impacts of fire emissions.

Online Link(s):
Voulgarakis, Apostolos; Field, Robert D. 2015. Fire influences on atmospheric composition, air quality and climate. Current Pollution Reports 1(2):70-81.