As the planet warms, more and more frozen peat and per­mafrost has thawed, re­leas­ing large amounts of car­bon.

Fiji Sun - - World News -

Wild­fires rav­aging parts of the Arc­tic are threat­en­ing to ac­cel­er­ate the melt­ing

of ice and per­mafrost -- the per­ma­nently frozen ground layer -re­leas­ing green­house gases stored for thou­sands of years.

Al­though wild­fires are fre­quent in the north­ern hemi­sphere be­tween May and Oc­to­ber, sci­en­tists es­ti­mate the mag­ni­tude of this sea­son’s burn is higher than any other in the 16-year-record.

Fires are burn­ing far­ther north, and sci­en­tists worry the for­est fires are ig­nit­ing peat fires.

Peat stores large amounts of car­bon, which is burn­ing and re­leas­ing record amounts of car­bon diox­ide (CO2) into the at­mos­phere. Ac­cord­ing to Mark Par­ring­ton, a se­nior sci­en­tist with Europe’s Coper­ni­cus At­mos­phere Mon­i­tor­ing Ser­vice (CAMS), the fires have re­leased ap­prox­i­mately 100 mega­tons, 100 mil­lion met­ric tons, of CO2 since June.

Since the start of June, CAMS has tracked over 100 in­tense and longlived wild­fires in the Arc­tic Cir­cle. As the planet warms, more and more frozen peat and per­mafrost has thawed, re­leas­ing large amounts of car­bon. Now, fires are burn­ing that stored car­bon, re­leas­ing CO2 into the at­mos­phere.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Fiji

© PressReader. All rights reserved.