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How wildfire smoke can harm human health, even when the fire is hundreds of miles away

10 Comments
By Christopher T Migliaccio

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The recent show, Extrapolations paints a very vivid and bleak picture of exactly how smoke from wildfires and forest fires can devastate the planet. It's disturbing.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Smoke, whatever the cause, is terrible to breathe. It is a leading cause of cancer and early death for firemen.

Several times over the years I and my family have had to breathe heavy smoke from fires around the California southland, and it is not something I want to repeat. When possible, we just get up and leave, to somewhere we can breathe. A mask like the one in the picture is almost useless. I have used charcoal filter masks in the smoke, but those are very uncomfortable to wear, and near impossible to sleep in.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

About a decade ago there was an article, including satellite picture, in one of my fave magazines, Scientific American, about the smog generated in China from their coal fired power plants. The pictures from space showed the clouds forming over China, then going to North America, then Europe, and then back to China, and around the world again, before finally dissipating.

Both forest fires and burning coal create terrible smoke.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

This is a relatively new area of research, and there’s still a lot we’re learning, especially with the increase in wildfire activity as the planet warms.

One big part of the research describing the negative effects of human activity originated climate change is that experts can identify increasing risk on areas where the knowledge is still spotty and redirect resources to improve the understanding of those areas. With a little luck preventive measures against these increased risks can be also developed before lives are lost unnecessarily.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Wildfires are part of the natural cycle.

No mention of alleged "human activity" is mentioned in the article.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Wildfires are part of the natural cycle.

Which does nothing to refute the fact that they are a very negative influence on human health, specially considering that they are predicted to be more important.

No mention of alleged "human activity

Climate change has been proved to be produced by human activity and climate change has been correlated to increase of fires, not everything has to be mentioned in the article to be true.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Which does nothing to refute the fact that they are a very negative influence on human health, specially considering that they are predicted to be more important.

A naturally occurring wildfire and the resulting smoke would have a natural effect on human health, naturally.

No one is refuting anything from the article.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

A naturally occurring wildfire and the resulting smoke would have a natural effect on human health, naturally

Endlessly repeating "naturally" is if was not a negative effect is not an argument, as many other natural things this is something worth preventing as much as possible.

Seeing human activity is the primary factor driving climate change, and that climate change has been concluded to increase the frequency and strength of wildfires (as mentioned in the article) that clearly supports the fact that decreasing this climate change obviously also works at reducing the risk from the smoke in human health.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

The rhythm of nature and naturally occurring wildfires are part of the process.

The fact these occur without human intervention let us see that nature has a purpose and function for these events.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

The fact these occur without human intervention let us see that nature has a purpose and function for these events.

The predicted increase is not cyclical nor natural is a consequence of human activity causing climate change which in turn increases the frequency and destruction done by the wildfires, the article explicitly mentions this, for you to say this just a natural cycle without increased risk you first need to demonstrate the experts included in the article are wrong. Without this requisite the contrary conclusion they have compared with yours is simply much more valuable since it is supported by the evidence and scientific method used to reach it.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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