For a good summary of the IPCC report's Chapter on Health see "Climate change and health: IPCC reports emerging risks, emerging consensus" by Emeritus Professor Tony McMichael (ANU), Professor Colin Butler (UC) and Professor Helen Berry (UC), 31/3/2014
Wood Fires Not a Healthy Option
Research for years has pointed out the severe damage to health caused by particulates. It is quite striking how not only does the fire affect the health of the those in the house but of others in houses around as the smoke actually manages to infiltrate neighbours' homes as well. It is akin to having a heavy smoker in the house. One of the horrying effects is asthma in children who then find participation in sport difficult.
Recent research has taken this further showing that wood fires pose a bigger threat to Sydney people than cars or cigarettes. For more information, see the two articles in the Age (June 27) and the SMH (July 5); they are "Wide fire Heaters: the hidden killer" and "State's top doctor says we should consider banning wood fire heaters", respectively.
One of the difficulties is when you have an inversion with mist forming and then the smoke tends to drop into the valley floors, seriously polluting the air for those living there. Note the smoke pouring down overnight into south Sydney from the Camden/Campbelltown valley . You also see this in many rural towns across Australia that are so often in valley floors.
To Read More see the Australian Air Quality Group - Woodsmoke
Melbourne January 2009 heatwave
According to the Victorian Governments report entitled "January 2009 Heatwave in Victoria: an Assessment of Health Impacts", there were 374 excess deaths over what would be expected with a 2.8 fold increase in cardiac arrest over the same period the previous year.