Arctic wildfires more frequent, though Canadian experts say 2019 is 'average' year

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RELATED: Siberian Smoke Headed Toward US and Canada: More than 2.7 million hectares (6,671,845 acres) of remote forest is currently burning across six Siberian and Far East regions, according to Russia’s Federal Forestry Agency. [...] According to the Moscow Times, authorities in the region are not trying to contain or extinguish these fires since the fires are in "hard-to-reach" areas, inhabited areas are “not under threat”, and “projected extinguishing costs exceed their projected harm.”

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/arc...-1.5228945

EXCERPT: . . . The first hot spots of the season popped up in Siberia around the second week of June, right where the centre's climate monitoring services were reporting high temperatures and low precipitation. Recent satellite imagery shows that several large fires were burning in Siberia and northern Alaska. There were three fires burning and actively spreading in the Canadian Arctic, including in Yukon near the Alaska border, and near Inuvik, N.W.T. There was also a small fire on the Nunavut/Manitoba border and even one fire in Greenland. Most are caused by lightning.

[...] Thomas Smith believes, based on satellite observations alone, that some Arctic fires are likely penetrating deep into the soil, releasing carbon that's been trapped for hundreds of years. ... "In a few weeks, a fire can burn through hundreds of years' worth of carbon sequestration," he explained. "These greenhouse gas emissions, which are not offset by future regrowth, will lead to warming, and warming will increase the likelihood of peat soils being drier earlier in the summer and therefore more likely to burn."

In Canada, Arctic wildfires are becoming more frequent, but this year is turning out to be just "average," said Dan Thompson, a forest fire research scientist with Natural Resources Canada. While Alaska is having a "busy year," it's only the fifth busiest in the last two decades, said Thompson, with roughly 8,500 square kilometres burned so far. "Fire happens all the time. It might be really busy in one part of the North, say in Siberia, but that doesn't mean Northern Canada is busy as well," he said. But Thompson says big fires in the Arctic can have a global impact. (MORE - details)
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#2
(Jul 30, 2019 08:07 PM)C C Wrote: [...] Thomas Smith believes, based on satellite observations alone, that some Arctic fires are likely penetrating deep into the soil, releasing carbon that's been trapped for hundreds of years. ... "In a few weeks, a fire can burn through hundreds of years' worth of carbon sequestration," he explained. "These greenhouse gas emissions, which are not offset by future regrowth, will lead to warming, and warming will increase the likelihood of peat soils being drier earlier in the summer and therefore more likely to burn."

That's going to be a big carbon pulse in the atmosphere.
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