The natural fires that raged this month in the Northern Hemisphere will have long-term consequences for the planet’s climate and ecosystem, as well as human health. This statement was made by the representative of WMO, Claire Nuillis, at a briefing in Geneva on July 27.
Nyullis noted that fires increase the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, increasing global warming. In addition, because of the smoke particles settling on snow and ice, the Arctic cover absorbs more solar radiation. At the same time, the Arctic is already responding to climate change faster than other regions.
Another threat comes from the impact of fires on permafrost. In the event of its melting, a large amount of methane can enter the atmosphere, which, like CO2, belongs to greenhouse gases.
It was also noted that the current fires can occur in unusual places, for example, in Scandinavia, and the frequency of burning taiga forests around the world is now the highest for 10 thousand years.
It is estimated that the area of wildfires in Siberia this year amounted to 90 thousand hectares. Smoke from them reached Alaska, Canada and Greenland. In Sweden, more than 50 fires were reported, covering 30 thousand hectares. In the United States, most of the western states have been blazing, since the beginning of the year, 1.5 million hectares have been burned.