Earthwindmap showing harmful PM2.5 Particulates being released by wildfires into the air from fires in the Amazon and California.
So far this summer the Northern Hemisphere has probably reached a new level in wildfires with Europe's Copernicus Atmospheric Monitoring System, (CAMS) claiming the number, size, persistency and intensity have been remarkable.
Out of control wildfires have been raging in northeastern Siberia since June and are still burning in many areas. North America has had an unprecedented year with the usual suspect California crippled by wildfires for the 5th year on record and no end in site but also Canada and the Pacific Northwest have also being ravaged.
Mediterranean countries have seen a massive uptick in wildfires this summer too with Greece, Spain and Italy all suffering horrendous wildfires and the season is not officially over.
These wildfires are not going away, they are increasing with devastating strength annually as climate chaos warms the planet, with summer in the Northern Hemisphere cooling down the Southern Hemisphere will burst into wildfire action, Australia, Indonesia and the Amazon, all are surely in for devastating bushfire seasons.
According to GFAS data, August was a record month for fires, releasing an estimated 1384.6 megatons of CO2 globally into the atmosphere.
Arctic wildfires released 66 megatons of CO2 between June and August 2021.
Estimated CO2 emissions from wildfires in Russia as a whole from June to August amounted to 970 megatons with the Sakha Republic and Chukotka accounting for 806 megatons.
“It is concerning that drier and hotter regional conditions - brought about by global warming - increase the flammability and fire risk of vegetation. This has led to very intense and fast-developing fires. While the local weather conditions play a role in the actual fire behaviour, climate change is helping provide the ideal environments for wildfires. More fires around the world are anticipated in the coming weeks, too, as the fire season in the Amazon and South America continues to develop,” said Mark Parrington, Senior Scientist and wildfire expert,
The wildfires came as the Northern hemisphere experienced its second warmest summer on record, tied with 2019 and slightly behind summer of 2020.
The Northern Hemisphere land-only summer temperature was the highest on record, besting the now-second highest set in 2016 by 0.20°C (0.36°F), according to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
According to the BBC, the Mediterranean heatwave, which has seen some countries record their highest temperatures in decades, has led to the spread of wildfires across southern Italy, with Sicily, Calabria and Puglia the worst-hit regions. Separately, wildfires are continuing across Greece, fuelled by strong winds and parched vegetation. Foreign teams are helping to tackle blazes in what Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has described as a "nightmarish summer".
The speed of climate change recently has caught out governments and experts alike. Back in the summer of 2019, Spain, France, Holland and Germany achieved, +40 deg C, +104 deg F temperatures smashing previous records, later in the same year Australia smashed its highest temperature ever when the mercury inched past 50 deg C, 122 deg F, leaving the country crippled from record-breaking wildfires and heatwaves Last year it was the entire west coast of the US and this year, southwest US, northwest US and southwest Canada and now Europe once again.
Wildfires and droughts have accompanied the heatwaves. Last month the extreme weather turned from fire to rain in Europe when hundreds died in never before seen torrential rain in Germany, Belgium, Holland, Switzerland, UK and Austria. All the above mentioned events left governments woefully unprepared as extreme weather renders many parts of western suburbia, unliveable and it's getting worse rapidly. All over the world, small indications are sprouting up and showing just how our vulnerable eco-system is crumbling.
Severe drought in California have left experts fearing the water system there is on the verge of collapse with farmers thought to hit the hardest. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s projection next week will spare cities and tribes but hit Arizona farmers hard. They knew this was coming. They have left fields unplanted, laser leveled the land, lined canals, installed drip irrigation, experimented with drought-resistant crops and found other ways to use water more efficiently.
Still, the cutbacks in Colorado River supply next year will be a blow for agriculture in Pinal County, Arizona’s top producer of cotton, barley and livestock. The cuts are coming earlier than expected as the drought has intensified and reservoirs dipped to historic lows across the West. Scientists blame climate change for the warmer, more arid conditions over the past 30 years.
Further north it's just as bad. Eastern Washington, a vast expanse of seemingly endless stretches of flatlands with rolling hills along its edges that produces the nation’s fourth largest wheat crop. It’s been devastated by a drought the National Weather Service has classified as “exceptional” and the worst since 1977. A local farmer estimated her farm’s wheat crop this year at half of normal, and of poor quality. Some Washington wheat farms produced almost no crop because of the drought. “We’re seeing complete crop failure in some areas,” said Michelle Hennings, executive director of the Washington Association of Wheat Growers in the small community of Ritzville, in the heart of the state’s wheat growing region.
And the heat keeps coming. Volunteers and county employees set up cots and stacked hundreds of bottles of water in an air-conditioned cooling center in a vacant building in Portland, Oregon, one of many such places being set up as the Northwest sees another stretch of sizzling temperatures. Scorching weather also hit other parts of the country this week. The weather service said heat advisories and warnings would be in effect from the Midwest to the Northeast and mid-Atlantic through at least Friday. Authorities trying to provide relief to vulnerable people are mindful of a record-shattering heat wave earlier this summer that killed hundreds in the Pacific Northwest.
The high temperatures in Portland this summer, part of a usually temperate region, has broken k
all-time records. Due to Covid and other problems, more people are experiencing homelessness, a population vulnerable to extreme heat.
Across the pond, Spain and Portugal suffered a heat wave that has already wreaked havoc in southeastern Europe, especially in Greece. A heat wave fueled by the hot air in North Africa has already swept across the Mediterranean region, triggering wildfires in Italy, Turkey and Algeria, where dozens of people have lost their lives.
In Greece, entire forests, houses and farms were destroyed, and people were forced to flee from the fire. The Prime Minister of Portugal warned that the hot weather increases the risk of vegetation fires that the country has faced before, in 2017 alone more than 100 people were killed.
The Spanish Meteorological Agency announced temperatures will exceeding 44 degrees Celsius in some areas last month. After record-breaking wildfires flash floods ravaging Turkey. The floods rose so fast people became stranded on rooftops, sweeping away cars and triggering mudslides. Flash floods have wreaked havoc across Turkey's Black Sea coastline, washing away cars and homes.
According to a speech by the British Prime Minister, humanity needs to "grow up" and deal with the issue of climate change, Boris Johnson told world leaders at the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Wednesday. Johnson, a last-minute addition to the speakers' list that day, slammed the world's inadequate response to the climate crisis and urged humanity to "listen to the warnings of the scientists," pointing to the Covid-19 pandemic as "an example of gloomy scientists being proved right."
"We still cling with parts of our minds to the infantile belief that the world was made for our gratification and pleasure," he said. "And we combine this narcissism with an assumption of our own immortality." "We believe that someone else will clear up the mess, because that is what someone else has always done," he added. "We trash our habitats, again and again, with the inductive reasoning that we've gotten away with it so far, and therefore, we'll get away with it again. "My friends, the adolescence of humanity is coming to an end and must come to an end."
And quite right too, but are we too late, ladies and gentlemen, ecosystems around the world are collapsing, animals are dying at an unprecedented rate, crops are failing, our oceans are dying and our vegetation is burning.
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