Upcoming: High-latitude Fires, Arctic Climate, Environment, and Health Workshop (28 Mar)

Upcoming: High-latitude Fires, Arctic Climate, Environment, and Health Workshop (28 Mar)

High-latitude Fires, Arctic Climate, Environment, and Health

Monday 28th March 2022

Hybrid workshop (Online/Tromso, Norway)

09:00 -18:00 (CEST/ GMT+2)

Conference website: https://www.assw.info

The increasing occurrence of high-latitude fires associated with climatic extremes has led to significant and urgent social, economic and health challenges for communities in these regions. Hazardous pollution levels, for example, are regularly observed to result from nearby fire emissions in high-latitude communities during spring and summer. However, despite high-latitude regions playing host to large annual fires, and with projections of increasing fire frequency, the contribution from these fires to pollutant health burdens is not well understood. Understanding how changes in fire activity relate to changes in the climate and terrestrial environment, and how these changes impact upon the wellbeing, livelihoods, and culture of high-latitude communities, requires interdisciplinary understanding of the complex interactions between climate systems, ecosystems and society.

The aim of this workshop is to share current state-of-the-art understanding on high-latitude fire impacts on climate, ecosystems, air quality and society in the Arctic and high latitudes, and to explore interdisciplinary linkages, from PACES, ecosystem science, fire science, health, and social science communities, that could help drive forward new research on this topic.

Through this workshop, we expect to develop an agenda for new interdisciplinary research topics under PACES on the theme of fires and their impacts. This will include synergies across short-lived climate forcer influences and Earth system feedbacks (PACES WG1) and societal impacts (PACES WG2), as well as synergies around land-surface and ecosystem research topics. We expect to publish a position paper outlining the current status of the research area and potential new directions.

The event will be arranged by a collaborative team involving:

  •  PACES (Air Pollution in the Arctic: Climate, Environment and Societies);
  •  ACRoBEAR (Arctic Community Resilience to Boreal Environmental change: Assessing Risks from fire and disease – University of Leeds);
  •   Leverhulme Centre for Wildfires, Environment and Society (Imperial College London, King’s College London, University of Reading and Royal Holloway);
  •  Arctic Voices (University of Leeds)


Call for Speakers & Participants 

1)   We welcome expressions of interest to present in one of the four thematic sessions

Please complete this short form by Monday 7th February to register your interest in attending and/or presenting (either in person or virtually), and to receive updates and to be added to our workshop-specific mailing list. We will contact you to discuss/confirm by Friday 18th February. 

Ø  Theme 1: Measuring and monitoring high-latitude fire and fire impact trends – past and present

This theme explores the latest advances in monitoring and measuring changes in high-latitude fire activity over recent decades and over the longer-term, including approaches in palaeoecology, remote sensing, thermodynamics, modelling, and approaches drawing upon local and Indigenous knowledge. The theme also includes observational and modelling evidence for fire impacts on high-latitude air pollution.

Ø  Theme 2: Drivers of high-latitude fires and fire risk

This theme focuses on meteorological and anthropogenic drivers of increased fire activity and increased fire-risk in Arctic and high-latitude regions.

Ø  Theme 3: Climate–vegetation-fire interactions, feedback and responses

This theme aims to explore our current understanding on the linkages between large-scale climate variability, high-latitude fire activity, and ecosystem / biodiversity responses and feedbacks, including influences on contaminant re-mobilisation and infectious disease propagation, and fire emission impacts on climate and associated feedbacks.

Ø  Theme 4: Societal vulnerability, health impacts and responses to high latitude fire

This final theme will explore health and socio-economic impacts (e.g. livelihoods, culture and wellbeing) of high-latitude fire activity, along with societal vulnerability, resilience and responses.

2)    We welcome expressions of interest in attending the workshop (virtually or in person)

The workshop is open to all. Online participation will be free of charge (a small fee might become necessary if the event has to be moved fully online); registration fees for in-person attendance at ASSW 2022 are available here. Whilst formal registration must be completed through the ASSW website (open from February 2022), we welcome expressions of interest in attending our workshop either in person or online.

Please complete  this short form by 25th March 2022  to informally register your interest, receive updates, and to be added to our workshop-specific mailing list. Please also ensure you register formally through the ASSW2022 conference website.

3)   Poster Session on Arctic Remote Sensing and Remote Sensing Techniques

ASSW is holding a poster session on Science Day (Tues 29th March), giving participants the opportunity for networking and to present and discuss recent studies in the field of Arctic remote sensing. Early career scientists to encouraged to actively participate. We encourage poster submissions on the topic of remote sensing related of high-latitude fires, climate or air pollution. Please let us know if you submit a poster abstract on this topic, using the form above..

The call for poster abstracts is now open and the deadline to submit abstracts is January 30, 2022  SUBMIT HERE

Workshop Draft Agenda

Session 1 Introduction and Keynote Presentations (Morning)

Session 2 Thematic talks and discussion (Morning – Themes 1 & 2)

Lunch will be provided

Session 3 Thematic talks and discussion (Afternoon – Themes 3 & 4)

Session 4 Developing an Agenda and Position Paper (Afternoon)


For queries, please contact:

Adriana Ford a.ford@imperial.ac.uk  (Leverhulme Wildfires) 

Stephen Arnold s.arnold@leeds.ac.uk (ACRoBEAR)