Saturday, July 27, 2019

Widespread Fires Erupt In The Arctic

As Europe just survived record-breaking heat, the Arctic region is experiencing a rash of wildfires that have burned approximately 500 square miles in the Russian arctic alone. Fires around the Arctic Circle have also been seen in Alaska and Greenland:
"'t's common for fires to burn during the Arctic's summer months, but the number and extent this year are 'unusual and unprecedented,' Mark Parrington, a senior scientist at the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS), a part of the European Union's Earth observation program, told CNN.

These fires are taking a toll on the atmosphere; they've released about 100 megatons of carbon dioxide from June 1 to July 21, which is roughly equivalent to the amount of carbon dioxide Belgium released in 2017, according to CAMS, CNN reported." (our emphasis)
The fires are burning further north this year, and some of the fires are in peat soils, which burn far longer than forest fires. It's only going to get worse, as the heat that descended on Europe last week is heading north toward the fires and polar ice cap.

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