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Showing posts with the label Wildfires

The role we humans play in the continuing decline of Earth's biosphere knows no boundaries. Sadly - an essential part of human life - food production - remains part of the problem.

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NASA   A thick blanket of smoke again darkens skies over northern India. Every year, farmers light large numbers of small fires between September and December—after the monsoon season—to burn off rice stalks and straw leftover after harvest, a practice known as stubble or paddy burning. Details here. By Larry Powell Smoke from burning stubble hovers over a small town in southwestern Manitoba, CA. Nov. 2020. A PinP photo. Canada is no stranger to the same practise. While "stubble-burning" in this country did not approach that of India's (at least not this year), numerous such fires were still common again this fall over the eastern prairies (See above) and in past years (below). Stubble-burning in Manitoba - circa 2005. Photos by PinP. Wildfire smoke (see brown) over the Canadian prairies last year. A NASA photo. Smoke from several large wildfires in Canada (now proven to be more severe, frequent and prolonged thanks to manmade climate change) was so thick and widespread

Siberian heatwave of 2020 'almost impossible' without climate change

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world weather attribution Siberian wildfire north of the Arctic Circle. Photo by Pierre Markuse. In the first six months of 2020, Siberia experienced a period of unusually high temperatures, causing wide-scale impacts including wildfires, loss of permafrost, and an invasion of pests. Story here. 

The Arctic is burning in a whole new way

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ScienceDaily "Where There's Smoke There's Fire" by Western Arctic National Parklands Widespread wildfires in the far north aren't just bigger; they're different. Details here.

Someday, even wet forests could burn due to climate change

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PHYS ORG A wet "sclerophyll" mixed forest. Might even it be vulnerable in a warming world?  Photo by Hagasfagas. Millions of years ago, fire swept across the planet, fuelled by an oxygen-rich atmosphere in which even wet forests burned, according to new research by CU Boulder scientists. Story here.

‘Apocalyptic’ fires are ravaging the world’s largest tropical wetland

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 Nature Brazilian Pantanal wildfire - "burn scar" by Coordenação-Geral de Observação da Terra/INPE Infernos in South America’s Pantanal region have burnt twice the area of California’s fires this year. Researchers fear the rare ecosystem will never recover. Story here.

The Arctic is burning like never before — and that’s bad news for climate change

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Nature Wildfire smoke at the Arctic Circle.  MIKOFOX ⌘ 2020 Vision Fires are releasing record levels of carbon dioxide, partly because they are burning ancient peatlands that have been a carbon sink. Story here. RELATED: New research finds - global heating is melting vast northern fields of permafrost so fast that - within decades - they'll likely stop cooling the planet as they have for millennia - and start doing just the opposite.

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney tours Fort MacMurray, site of major spring flooding - fails to see his own handiwork amid the damage. (Opinion)

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by Larry Powell Fort MacMurray, AB. Photo credit - MacMurray Aviation.  Kenney was out inspecting the town of Fort MacMurray and region this morning, where major flooding has resulted in a mandatory evacuation order going out for the entire downtown area. Big trucks and low-lying buildings are reportedly submerged.  This is the same Premier who "dissed" a reporter recently for daring to ask if this might be the time to transition away from fossil fuels to renewable, sustainable energy. Kenney was especially shocked that he was a member of the Calgary press core, who are apparently all supposed to be cozy little members of the same club, parroting Kenny's anti-science lies about the consequences of continuing to exploit the tar sands.  This is also the same Premier who is spending millions of tax dollars from his own citizens, including desperate, unemployed oil workers, to fund a "war room," spreading mis-information about the consequences of a chan

Bushfires damaged Australian rainforest that is home to Earth's only living specimens of ancient species

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PHYS ORG Rainforest foliage in Nightcap National Park, NSW Wales, an international heritage site hit hard by the bushfires. Photo by Naught101 Recent wildfires in Australia torched more than 48,000 square miles of land (for context, more than 40 Riding Mountain National Parks). The fires impacted ecologically sensitive regions, including an area called the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Site. This region contains a vast concentration of living plants with fossil records from tens of millions of years ago, according to Peter Wilf. Story here. RELATED: The hand of man shows through once again in another climate catastrophe.

Bush-fire smoke linked to hundreds of deaths

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nature Bushfire smoke shrouds the Blue Mountains, as seen from Sydney Harbour Bridge, Dec.,2019. Photo by Sardaka. The first study to estimate health effects from Australia’s extreme fires suggests that several thousand extra people were admitted to hospital. Story here.

Record number of fires rage around Amazon farms that supply the world's biggest butchers

The Bureau of Investigative Journalism The summer’s Amazon fires were three times more common in the areas supplying cattle to abattoirs than elsewhere in the rainforest. Details here.

In the line of fire

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Nature Climate Change   The bushfires burning in Australia have led to widespread local and global calls for increased efforts to mitigate climate change. Details here.

This is the age of the megafire – and it’s being fuelled by our leaders

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Tim Flannery  for the Guardian Bushfires spire from Yuraygir National Park, Australia. Photo by European Space Agency. In the face of the climate disaster it helped create, the Australian government has given us only lies and denial.   Story here.

Wildfires in Western Canada Created Air Pollution Spikes as Far Away as New York City

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Eco Watch Fires around Ft. MacMurray, Alberta, Canada in 2016. Satellite photo by NASA Earth Observatory. New York City  isn't known  for having the cleanest air, but researchers traced recent  air pollution  spikes there to two surprising sources —  fires  hundreds of miles away in Canada and the southeastern U.S. Story here.

Fires scorching Bolivia’s Chiquitano forest

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Science magazine Wildfires in the Amazon rainforests of Bolivia. Photo by  List Top 10. The Chiquitano Dry Forest - endemic to Bolivia, highly biodiverse, and considered the world’s best-preserved tropical dry forest -  has lost a staggering 1.4 million hectares to fires since July.  Story here.

Australian blazes will ‘reframe our understanding of bushfire’

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Science Magazine Fire on Cape Barren Is. Australia, 2016. Photo by Planet Labs, Inc. Summary Australia is on fire like never before—and this year's "bushfire" season, which typically peaks in January or February, has barely begun. Driven in part by a severe drought, fires have burned 1.65 million hectares in the state of New South Wales, more than the state's total in the previous 3 years combined. Six people have died and more than 500 homes have been destroyed. As  Science  went to press, some 70 uncontrolled fires were burning in adjacent Queensland, and South Australia was bracing for potentially "catastrophic" burns. David Bowman, a fire geographer and director of the Fire Centre Research Hub at the University of Tasmania in Hobart, spoke with  Science  about the unprecedented crisis. The flames have charred even wet ecosystems once thought safe, he says. And the fires have become "white-hot politically," with Prime Minister Sco

Fueling Concerns of Approaching Catastrophic 'Tipping Point,' Deforestation of Brazilian Amazon Hit Highest Level in Decade

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Common Dreams Another denizen of the Amazon. Photo by Tom MacKenzie -  U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service "These figures confirm what we feared, namely that 2019 has been a dark year for the rainforest in Brazil."    Story here.

Parched peatlands fuel Indonesia's blazes

Science   Fires set illegally to clear forests and peatlands for agricultural use in Indonesia are once again generating an acrid haze that has spread across that country and its neighbors. But a number of scientists say the haze emergency—which sent scores to hospitals with respiratory problems and led to school closures and flight cancellations—could have been worse. In the years since the last major haze event in 2015, Indonesia has moved to restore peatlands, making them more fire-resistant; enhanced restrictions on converting primary forests to agricultural lands; and stepped up enforcement of bans on fires. Experts praise the progress but say even more needs to be done, particularly in area of enforcement of laws holding plantation operators liable for fires on their lands even if they don't deliberately start them.

Black carbon lofts wildfire smoke high into the stratosphere to form a persistent plume

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Science Magazine. In 2017, western Canadian wildfires injected smoke into the stratosphere that was detectable by satellites for more than 8 months. The smoke plume rose from 12 to 23 kilometers within 2 months owing to solar heating of black carbon, extending the lifetime and latitudinal spread. Comparisons of model simulations to the rate of observed lofting indicate that 2% of the smoke mass was black carbon. The observed smoke lifetime in the stratosphere was 40% shorter than calculated with a standard model that does not consider photochemical loss of organic carbon. Photochemistry is represented by using an empirical ozone-organics reaction probability that matches the observed smoke decay. The observed rapid plume rise, latitudinal spread, and photochemical reactions provide new insights into potential global climate impacts from nuclear war.   More here. Smoke-filled skies over San Diego - fall 2007. Photo by Eric Pettigrew.

Albertans lose more than they gain with carbon tax repeal

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PEMBINA  INSTITUTE Slave Lake, Alberta, June 2011. The aftermath of the wildfire  that  destroyed one third of the town. Photo by Mrsramsey. Pembina Institute reacts to repeal of Alberta’s Climate Leadership Act. Story here.

The destruction of the Earth is a crime. It should be prosecuted. Opinion.

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George Monbiot   - The Guardian. Ashcroft Reserve wildfire - Look Lake, BC, 2017. Photo by  Shawn Cahill Businesses should be liable for the harm they do. Polly Higgins is pushing to make that happen. Story here.