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Clearing up the Haze: New Research on Southeast Asian Pollution

  • Columbia University - International Affairs Building, Room 918 420 West 118th Street New York, NY, 10027 United States (map)

In a report recently published in IOPscience, a team,including two Columbia students, quantifies the emission sources and health impacts of persistently hazardous levels of smoke pollution which covered much of Equatorial Asia from September to October 2015. They then compare the sources and impacts to an event of similar magnitude occurring under similar meteorological conditions in September–October 2006. Using data from these episodes, the team developed an approach to provide an assessment of the relative contribution of fire emissions generated in a specific province to smoke-related health impacts in the receptor areas. Using this framework, the team argues they can now rapidly identify areas where land use management to reduce and/or avoid fires would yield the greatest benefit to human health, both nationally and regionally.


Ruth DeFries Professor of Ecology and Sustainable Development, Columbia University

Miriam Marlier Postdoctoral Research Scientist in the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology, Columbia University

Tianjia Liu Student, Columbia College

Moderated by Duncan McCargo Visiting Professor of Political Science, Columbia University