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Greenhouse gas emissions have regional impacts on wildfire outbreaks: study

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    19th Jan, 2021


  • Scientists have assessed the influence of human activities on extreme fire weather risk, and found that greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution have distinct regional impacts on wildfire outbreaks.

What are the outcomes of the study?

  • Human activities and their products like greenhouse gas emissions, and air pollution raise the risk of extreme fire weather.
  • To get a wildfire to ignite and spread warm, dry and windy conditions are required.
  • Heat-trapping greenhouse gas emissions are the dominant contributors to temperature increases around the globe.
  • By 2005, emissions raised the risk of extreme fire weather by 20% from preindustrial levels in western and eastern North America, the Mediterranean, Southeast Asia, and the Amazon.
  • The study predicted that by 2080, greenhouse gas emissions are expected to raise the risk of extreme wildfire by at least 50% in western North America, equatorial Africa, Southeast Asia and Australia, while doubling it in the Mediterranean, southern Africa, eastern North America and the Amazon.
  • Biomass burning and land-use changes have more regional impacts that amplify greenhouse gas-driven warming.
  • In Southeast Asia, where aerosols emissions are expected to continue, there may be a weakening of the annual monsoon, drier conditions and an increase in extreme fire weather risk.

What are the suggestions of the study?

  • Climate policy to know how global actions will affect the climate.
  • Urban planning to understand human activities.
  • Fire management practices.

Green House Gases

  • Gases that trap heat in the atmosphere are called greenhouse gases.
  • The primary greenhouse gases in Earth's atmosphere are water vapor (H2O), carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), and ozone (O3).
  • Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), Perfluorocarbons (PFCs), and sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) are sometimes called high-GWP gases.

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