Carbon emissions from forest fires in Canada have reached alarming levels, with experts warning of a dangerous cycle of global warming. Data from the Copernicus Atmospheric Monitoring Service reveals that as of the end of July, the cumulative carbon emissions from Canadian forest fires this year have already reached 290 million tons. With fires still burning, this number will continue to rise.
The greenhouse gases emitted by forest fires contribute to global warming and may create climate conditions that make forests more susceptible to burning. This creates a vicious circle where more fires release more carbon emissions, further accelerating global warming.
This year’s forest fires in Canada have broken historical records in terms of the area burned and the amount of carbon emissions generated. In just the first seven months of the year, the cumulative carbon emissions from these fires have exceeded 290 million tons, more than double the previous records. This accounts for over 25% of the global emissions this year, equivalent to more than 1 billion tons of carbon dioxide.
The peak of forest fire activity in Canada usually occurs in July and August, but this year has seen a new record set even before entering July. It is now the worst forest fire season in Canadian history. As a result, carbon emissions will continue to rise.
Kirsten Zickfield, a professor of climate science at Simon Fraser University, emphasizes the long-term impact of carbon dioxide emissions. The gas remains in the atmosphere for an extended period, contributing to global warming and negative effects on the global climate.
Zickfield warns of a dangerous cycle where increased carbon emissions and greenhouse gases further amplify global climate change. This, in turn, increases the likelihood of abnormal droughts, sustained high temperatures, and more frequent large-scale forest fires in the future.
Without effective control of greenhouse gas emissions, the consequences of forest fires and other natural disasters will become more frequent and affect more people. Extreme heatwaves, floods, and other extreme weather events will become increasingly common.
It is crucial to address the root causes of carbon emissions and take action to mitigate the effects of climate change. Failure to do so will have severe consequences for both the environment and human populations.
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