Wildfires to Keep Getting More Intense: UN

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A latest UN Report warns about a 30% increase in extreme wildfires by 2050, many to take place in previously unaffected parts of the world.

  • Wildfires are nature’s way of cleansing forests. They are critical to maintain an ecological balance as they help in returning nutrients to the soil and getting rid of diseased trees.
  • For centuries, civilizations have lived alongside forest fires and we even had ways to control them. But over the last few years, the intensity of wildfires has gone several notches higher.
  • Whether it’s the ‘black summer’ bushfires in Australia (2019) or the Dixie Fire in California (2021) or even the Siberian wildfire (2021), the human, wildlife and economic costs have been enormous.
  • Climate-change is a leading cause of intense wildfires. While regional factors vary, the common thread is drying vegetation caused by rising temperatures which leads to ‘tinderbox’ like conditions.
  • Resulting soot from persistent forest fires can travel to Arctic and Antarctic regions, and settle on snow. This leads to an increase in temperatures and acceleration of permafrost thawing.
  • Increased wildfires are yet another reminder of how interconnected global climate ecosystems are. In this reading we take a look at the implications brought on by intense wildfires.
The New York Times
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4 articles on this topic

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San Francisco Chronicle

Let it burn? Forest Service’s new all-out fire suppression policy a dangerous move, critics say

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National Geographic

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