As wildfire season is roaring on, a study conducted on the worldwide extent and behavior of the phenomenon has just been published in the scientific journal Nature Communications.
The study concluded that climate change is making wildfire seasons worse and worse each year and that this trend will continue in the near future. Furthermore, they describe a vicious circle that the wildfires are a part of, as their effects actively contribute to worsening climate change, that in turn will favor new wildfires.
Its authors regard the study as a “global pyrogeography” report, because they have managed to look into the worldwide extent of wildfire rage.
According to the lead author of the study, Matt Jolly, an expert on fire science and an ecologist with the United States Forest Service’s Fire Sciences Laboratory in Missoula, wildfires have been on the rise for quite some time now. She points out that they have increased in length with a whopping 20% in only 34 years, from 1979 to 2013.
The study reveals that wildfires are going rampant on every continent, with the exception of Antarctica and Australia, where the situation appears to have stagnated. On the other hand, the situation is quite drastic in many other parts of the world, such as South America, where wildfire season is a whole month longer, which is a tremendous increase.
The Northern Rocky Mountains are the most affected part of Eastern U.S., but the situation in the western parts is not much better. Also, reports show that this year alone as much as 11 million acres have burned across Alaska and Canada.
All of these horrific changes have been brought along by changes in a wide range of climate indicators, such as the global increase in temperature, the rainfall rate, the changes in wind behavior and many more.
“So globally, each year we’re seeing more areas that are pushing into these unusually long seasons.” concludes Matt Jolly.
The effects of the wildfires are devastating for the local communities that are faced with tremendous losses and devastation and for the natural world that burns away, leaving a great many victims behind.
And the extent of the losses does not end when the fire is put out, because the majority of these fires contribute to deforestation, that in its turn is a factor of global warming.
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