Siberian heat wave reignites fires still smouldering since last year
Temperatures in some parts of the Arctic are as much as 16°C higher than usual
27 May 2020 - 16:20Akshat Rathi and Jake RudnitskyPicture: JAMES DAY / UNSPLASHLondon/Moscow — After the hottest winter on record, the Russian spring has brought a Siberian heat wave that is reigniting fires still smouldering since last year.The region has had unusually warm weather this month, with temperatures in parts of the Arctic up to 16°C higher than usual, says Russia’s federal meteorological service.
Hot, dry weather dried out vegetation sooner than normal leading to wildfires in the boreal forests with some blazes starting in March and stretching into May. An early start typically means a longer fire season, say academics at Swansea University.Though sparsely populated, the vast region’s state can have a global impact.
“Siberia has a lot of stored carbon,” said Cristina Santin Nuno, associate professor at Swansea University. “What happens to it will affect the planet in a substantial way.”Across Europe forecasters are braced for sweltering temperatures and little rain this summer, compounding what was a mild winter and threatening droughts, according to scientists at the Copernicus Climate Change Service.
Wildfires and hotter temperatures get sea-ice melt going sooner. The receding of ice in the Arctic opened up the Northern Sea Route to tanker traffic a month earlier than usual this year. This is the shortest and cheapest route for cargoes of liquefied natural gas produced in the Russian Arctic to reach Asia.
“Our forecast is [summer wildfires] will begin at the end of June, a month earlier than usual,” said Gregory Kuksin of Greenpeace Russia.These forecasts come after Siberia had some of its worst wildfires last summer, which burned more than 13-million hectares of land, an area the size of Greece. In June, they released as much carbon dioxide as Sweden does in a year.
Many of these fires that lit peatlands released carbon from thousands of years ago. Worse, peatlands can burn under the snowpack of winter. Early data published by Copernicus scientists on Wednesday indicates that these “zombie fires” are probably reigniting as the heat wave takes hold.
Scientists of the service’s monitoring service were “bracing themselves for intense fire activity in the Arctic after an unusually warm spring and seeing signals of heat anomaly sources from satellite images”, they said. Huge wildfires also burned in the Amazon, Indonesia, Australia and the Arctic Circle in the past year, destroying forests and vulnerable animal species and releasing billions of tonnes of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
IronFalcon77 A fire can smolder for an entire year, even through one of the harshest winters on the planet? I find that incredibly hard to believe. This story sounds more credible, and disturbing.
Rapist, 17, jailed for raping woman while on bail for similar chargeA 17-year-old who raped a 55-year-old woman in KwaMhlanga, Mpumalanga, last year has been sentenced to five years behind bars for his crime. Can you see where your plan will go wrong, RonaldLamola Something is fundamentally wrong with this kid.. The core might lie under the upbringing of de kid... Have the damn thing executed!!
Three-year-old among five killed in house fire in Cape TownTwo men, two women and a three-year-old boy died in a fire in Cape Town late on Tuesday. painfully May their souls sleep in eternal peace The RLF demands that Government give all LANDLESS People LAND NOW to build their own houses to avoid corruption and unnecessary DEATHS. Tragic
Bluff resident plans to run a virtual Comrades Marathon to help the needyWhile the cancellation of the ComradesMarathon has left many South Africans disappointed, a Bluff resident will be running a virtual race to raise funds to help the less fortunate in his community. DailyNewsSA coronavirus lockdown
WHO warns that first wave of Covid-19 pandemic is not overAs Brazil and India struggle with surging cases, a top health expert is warning that the world is still smack in the middle of the pandemic. Pitty they caused the entire world to lose faith in them... no goves a hoot about WHO This WHO is doing nothing but bring fear into people tell us of your plans to mitigate this virus not to continually bring news that scare people. What is the narrative here
Mpumalanga teen gets 5 years for raping woman, 55, while on bail for similar offenceA 17-year-old was sentenced to five years' imprisonment by the KwaMhlanga Regional Court in Mpumalanga on Friday after he pleaded guilty to raping a 55-year-old woman in 2019. 5 years? Now THERE'S justice 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣 RonaldLamola you are clearly doing an excellent job This is a crazy sentence by the court really. It is not assisting us as the society. If we had our way we would have cut the testicles of this boy! Ngeke phela hawu!
From 'controversial comments' to medical council about-turn: what you need to know about the Glenda Gray rowFrom 'controversial comments' to council about-turn: what you need to know about the Glenda Gray row