"The Arctic fires burning since the middle of June with high activity have already beaten 2019’s record in terms of scale and intensity as reflected in the estimated CO2 emissions," Mark Parrington, a senior scientist and wildfire expert at the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service, said in a statement. Take a look below.
The amount of heat-trapping carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere and the scale of the 2019 fires vastly exceeded earlier years.
But so far in 2020, Arctic Circle fires have released about 35 percent more CO2 into the atmosphere than in 2019, according to data released Thursday by the European Union’s Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service.
To illustrate, the 2020 fires trumped even 2019’s Arctic blazes, which were already record-breaking, compared to the previous 16 years of the satellite wildfire record.
Importantly, Smith emphasized that it’s crucial to figure out the net CO2 emissions from the Arctic fires, meaning how much heat-trapping CO2 is actually added to the atmosphere over time.
"The greenhouse gas emissions as a result of peat fires may be considered as ‘net emissions’ to the atmosphere, given that the peat soils will not recover in any timeframe relevant to anthropogenic climate change (over the next few centuries)," said Smith.
Already, atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide are the highest they’ve been in at least 800,000 years, but more likely millions of years. (Momentous change is afoot in the atmosphere as humanity burns vast stores of fossil fuels.
This means the true amount of greenhouse gases entering the atmosphere from the Arctic Circle, while record-breaking for the second straight year, could likely be an underestimate. is a global, multi-platform media and entertainment company.
This contributes bounties of "net" greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere because these ecosystems take thousands of years to naturally restore and reabsorb carbon, if they do at all.
"Indeed, 2019 was already a big year for fires in the Arctic," said Thomas Smith, an assistant professor in environmental geography at the London School of Economics.
Smith’s analysis found that about half of the Arctic Circle fires have burned in peatlands in 2020.
Yes, the recent fires released bounties of carbon dioxide, more than entire nations like Sweden expel in an entire year.
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