Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Haze from fires set last year may have killed over 100,000 in Asia

And at least part, if not almost all, of the reason for more land clearing for agriculture is the increasing population.

By Joe Cochrane New York Times September 19, 2016

The forest fire and haze disaster in Southeast Asia last year, caused mostly by land clearing, may have led to the deaths of more than 100,000 people, according to a study released Monday by researchers from two US universities.

The vast majority of the pollution cases were in Indonesia, where fires were deliberately set to clear land for agriculture.

The study, led by public health and atmospheric modeling scientists from Harvard and Columbia, estimated that 91,600 people in Indonesia, 6,500 in Malaysia, and 2,200 in Singapore may have died prematurely because of exposure to fine particle pollution from burning forests, in particular carbon-rich peatlands.


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