Huge swathes of the Arctic on fire

Independent screenshot

Earth’s boreal forests now burning at rate unseen in ‘at least 10,000 years’, scientists warn

The Independent - July 22, 2019

Vast swathes of the Arctic are suffering from "unprecedented" wildfires, new satellite images have revealed. 

North of the Arctic circle, the high temperatures are facilitating enormous wildfires which are wreaking ecological destruction on a colossal scale.

It comes after the world’s hottest June on record which has been followed by a devastating heatwave in the US, with Europe forecast for the same treatment later this week.

Satellite images reveal fires across Greenland, Siberia and Alaska, with warm dry conditions following ice melt on the enormous Greenland icesheet commencing a month earlier than average.

Pierre Markuse, a satellite photography expert, posted images showing smoke billowing across massive areas of uninhabited and wild land. 

The pictures show forest fires and burning peat. They also reveal the extent of the damage the fires leave behind. In Alaska wildfires have already burned more than 1.6 million acres of land.

Mark Parrington, a senior scientist at the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecast, said the amount of CO2 emitted by Arctic wildfires between 1 June and 21 July 2019 is around 100 megatonnes and is approaching the entire 2017 fossil fuel CO2 emissions of Belgium.

“I think it’s fair to say July Arctic Circle wildfires are now at unprecedented levels, having surpassed previous highest #Copernicus GFAS estimated July total CO2 emission (2004/2005), & last month’s 50 megatonnes … and still increasing,” he tweeted. ...
Read full report at The Independent

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