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Smoke pollution must be part of the savanna fire management equation: A case study from Darwin, Australia

Citation

Jones, PJ and Furlaud, JM and Williamson, GJ and Johnston, FH and Bowman, DMJS, Smoke pollution must be part of the savanna fire management equation: A case study from Darwin, Australia, Ambio pp. 1-13. ISSN 0044-7447 (2022) [Refereed Article]


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Copyright Statement

The Author(s) 2022 This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) License, (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made.

DOI: doi:10.1007/s13280-022-01745-9

Abstract

Savanna fire management is a topic of global debate, with early dry season burning promoted as a large-scale emissions reduction opportunity. To date, discussions have centred on carbon abatement efficacy, biodiversity and cultural benefits and/or risks. Here we use a case study of Darwin, Australia to highlight smoke pollution as another critical consideration. Smoke pollution from savanna fires is a major public health issue, yet absent so far from discussions of program design. Here, we assess the likely impacts of increased early dry season burning on smoke pollution in Darwin between 2004 and 2019, spanning the introduction and expansion of carbon abatement programs. We found increased smoke pollution in the early dry season but little change in the late dry season, contributing to a net annual increase in air quality standard exceedances. Geospatial analysis suggests this relates to increased burning in the path of early dry season trade winds. This study highlights the complex health trade-offs involved with any large-scale prescribed burning, including for carbon abatement.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:fire, smoke, savanna
Research Division:Agricultural, Veterinary and Food Sciences
Research Group:Forestry sciences
Research Field:Forestry fire management
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Air quality, atmosphere and weather
Objective Field:Air quality
UTAS Author:Jones, PJ (Dr Penelope Jones)
UTAS Author:Furlaud, JM (Mr James Furlaud)
UTAS Author:Williamson, GJ (Dr Grant Williamson)
UTAS Author:Johnston, FH (Professor Fay Johnston)
UTAS Author:Bowman, DMJS (Professor David Bowman)
ID Code:150115
Year Published:2022
Deposited By:Plant Science
Deposited On:2022-05-25
Last Modified:2022-09-15
Downloads:0

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