Saturday, 27 July 2019

The sweltering Arctic is ablaze as unprecedented wildfires are ravaging the Arctic: Areas of Siberia, Scandinavia, Alaska and Greenland engulfed in flames

Credit NOAA

The sweltering Arctic is ablaze, wildfires are ravaging the Arctic, with areas of northern Siberia, northern Scandinavia, Alaska and Greenland engulfed in flames.
Vast areas of Alaska Greenland and Siberia are literally on fire with Alaska alone burning 1.6 billion acres this year.

Alaska has been suffering a heatwave for weeks with temperatures reaching 92 deg F, (33.5 deg C).
In Siberia, massive fires in remote areas are burning out of control.
Lightning frequently triggers fires in the region but this year they have been worsened by summer temperatures that are higher than average because of climate change.
Plumes of smoke from the fires can be seen from space.

Mark Parrington, a wildfires expert at the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (Cams), described them as "unprecedented".
There are hundreds of fires covering mostly uninhabited regions across eastern Russia, northern Scandinavia, Greenland, and Alaska.

But smoke is affecting wider surrounding areas, engulfing some places. Cities in eastern Russia have noted a significant decrease in air quality since the fires started.
The smoke has reportedly reached Russia's Tyumen region in western Siberia, six time zones away from the fires on the east coast.

In June, the fires released an estimated 50 megatonnes of carbon dioxide - the equivalent of Sweden's annual carbon output, according to Cams.
Meanwhile, the hot air that smashed European weather records this week looks set to move toward Greenland and could take the world's second-largest ice sheet close to or below the record low set in 2012, the United Nations said on Friday.

Clare Nullis, the spokesperson for the UN World Meteorological Organization, said the hot air moving up from North Africa had not merely broken European temperature records on Thursday, but surpassed them by two, three or four degrees Celsius, something she described as "absolutely incredible."

"According to forecasts, and this is of concern, the atmospheric flow is now going to transport that heat towards Greenland," she told a regular UN briefing in Geneva.
"This will result in high temperatures and consequently enhanced melting of the Greenland ice sheet," she said.
"We don't know yet whether it will be at the 2012 level, but it's close." Melting of Greenland's ice sheet, a key part of the global climate system, would lead to rising sea levels and unstable weather.
Greenland had not had an exceptional year until June, but its ice had been melting rapidly in recent weeks, she said, citing data from a Danish climate scientist.
"In July alone, it lost 160 billion tonnes of ice through surface melting.

Wildfires

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