The Arctic Circle is on
fire for the second consecutive year! The intense fires have reignited
in the Arctic Circle – the polar region atop Earth.
Siberia has been
excessively warm in the last six months and the temperature is predicted to
increase by triple digits. This has broken old and set new records for the
region! Last year, unexpected fires burned throughout the Arctic Circle and
research shows that the intensity of the fire was the same as the ones that are
These fires are highly
concerning as the burned forest and vegetation release large amounts of
heat-trapping greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide is amongst the
primary gases present in the dangerous smokes. It is being said that the last
two years have caused more damage than the past 18 years have caused
two years together is quite alarming. I don’t use that word lightly.”
In fact, studies conducted by the World
Meteorological Organization show that in only six weeks last year, the Arctic
fires released more CO2 into the atmosphere than Sweden does in one year.
Climate change is already a significant
cause of concern and the recent fires are simply enhancing the dangerous
repercussions. The recent fires have given one confirmation and that’s the
dramatic evolution of the Arctic Circle.
confidence, we can say that this does appear to be an increasing trend of fire.
There’s some shift occurring.” – said Jessica McCarty, an Arctic fire
researcher and assistant professor in the Department of Geography at Miami
She further concluded that the recent
fires in the region “are an interesting
finding.” However, she also mentioned that it will take a few more years to
properly investigate the pattern or trends in the region.
Smith carried out a complete analysis
which included forested areas, shrublands, and tundras. She reveals that the
ground in some of these areas is lapped with peat which is essentially a thick
deposit of carbon that plays a critical role in releasing important greenhouse
gases like CO2 and methane.
She said, “You’re losing a carbon store. It is thousands of years old. If
we’re thinking about climate change, it’s going to take thousands of years for
that carbon to accumulate [in the soil and vegetation] again.”
each fire detection (hotspot, red triangles on the maps), I extracted the land
cover type and whether the fire occurred on a known peatland. Results suggest
fires in both taiga/boreal forest and tundra regions, with a good proportion of
fires on peatland.” – She added.
This is only the beginning as more
burning and immense fires are expected over the summer. The weather will
continue to grow warmer in the region. Hence, this can verify that the heat
waves occurring today are critically warmer than the ones that occurred