Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Fires Increasing Globally - ' harbinger of things to come'

Fort McMurray's early and large fire is just the latest of many gargantuan fires on an Earth that's grown hotter with more extreme weather. Large wildfires have hit spots on opposite ends of the world from Tasmania to Kansas. Last year, Alaska and California pushed the U.S. to a record 10 million acres burned. Massive fires hit Siberia, Mongolia and China last year and Brazil's fire season has increased by a month over the past three decades.

It has gotten so bad that in 2009 Australia added a bright red "catastrophic" to its fire warning index. Worldwide, the length of Earth's fire season increased nearly 19 per cent from 1979 to 2013.
An extreme heatwave and drought in East Asia is now sparking extraordinarily large wildfires in mostly unsettled regions of Northeast China near the Russian border. The massive fires are plainly visible in the LANCE-MODIS satellite shot and include at least four contiguous fire zones.

Numerous fires are burning in the Lake Baikal region of Russia. Representing the furthest southern extent of the Northeast Asian permafrost zone, heat and thaw in the region have resulted in increasing fire hazards. As with Northwest Canada, an unholy relationship exists between fires and thawing permafrost.
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