In a new report issued by the Alaska Division of Public Health, researchers in the state identified several negative health effects that Alaskans could see worsen as the Arctic continues to warm.
Measuring climate change alongside its impact on humans is nothing new, however according to the report, some of the effects that a warming climate could have on Alaskans specifically have not been identified until now.
Wildfires carry into the category of exposure to hazardous materials, as studies have shown a significant deterioration of health in terms of respiratory illness in areas where wildfire smoke is found in higher quantities.
"Over 5 million acres burned in Alaska in 2015, making it one of the worst recorded fire seasons ever. [...] As large wildfires increase, more poor air quality events are likely to occur, potentially leading to exacerbations of pre-existing respiratory and cardiovascular illnesses," the report states.