Abstract: In ther last decade, there is a dramatic increase in forest wildfires and biomass burning on a global scale consuming millions of square kilometers of forest and cultivated land. Scientists suggest that detailed investigational studies are needed to determine the relationships between environmental factors, climate change and anthropogenic factors affecting wildfires and biomass burning at critical regions of the Earth. For centuries global wildfires and widespread burning of biomass in agricultural areas are an integral part of Earth’s ecosystems since they occur in all major biomes. Pollutants as trace gases and aerosol fire emissions influence atmospheric air chemistry, radiative processes, and cloud formation, and can contribute to local, regional, and global air pollution. Also, it is known that toxic smoke plumes from wildfires and biomass burning are transported thousands of kilometres away from their sources polluting the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere of the Earth. Forest wildfires and biomass burning significantly increase the quantity of air pollutants such as CO2, CO, CH4, aldehydes HCHO, CH3CHO, NH3, nitrogen oxides (NOX}, non-methane hydrocarbon (NMHC), volatile organic compounds (VOCs), semi volatile organic compounds (SVOCs), Particulate Matter (PM10, PM2.5) and metallic elements absorbed in carbonaceous smoke particle. Forest wildfires and biomass burning in 2020 have inundated major areas in Western USA (especially California), Australia, Siberia, Amazonia in Brazil and Southeast Asia countries. In 2020, air quality across the Western USA reached and sustained extremely unhealthy levels of hazardous pollutants (particulate matter, PM) for successive weeks (August to November) with pulmonary and cardiovascular consequences to humans. Also, recently scientists monitored wildfire microbial smoke components with potentially important health repercussions: Wildfire bioaerosols, composed of fungal and bacterial cells are known to affect human health with infections to the upper and lower respiratory tract. Smoke-related immunologic deficits and inflammatory responses may exacerbate the effects of inhalation of airborne microbial particulates and toxicants in smoke. This review covers an extensive number of scientific reports and studies of the recent global forest wildfires and biomass burning and their influence on air qualtiy.
Forest Wildfires and Biomass Burning as Contributors to Global Air Pollution. Influence of atmospheric air chemistry, hazardous levels of pollutants and infectious agents
Jan 26, 2021