2022 sets record fire activity in Southwest Europe: EU
Fires that have set fire to tens of thousands of hectares of forest in France, Spain and Portugal have made 2022 a record year for wildfires in southwestern Europe, the EU’s satellite monitoring service said Friday.
Amid a prolonged heat wave that sent temperature records plummeting, the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS) said France had reached its highest levels of carbon pollution from wildfires since records began in 2003 in the past three months.
It follows Spain, which last month registered the highest CO2 emissions ever from forest fires.
CAMS said the daily total radiant power of fire – a measure of the intensity of the fires – was “significantly higher” than average in France, Spain and Portugal in July and August.
The agency warned that much of Western Europe is now in “extreme fire risk”, with “very extreme fire risk” in some areas.
“We have been monitoring an increase in the number and resulting emissions of wildfires as heat wave conditions have exacerbated fires in southwestern France and the Iberian Peninsula,” said Mark Parrington, senior scientist at CAMS.
“The very extreme fire hazard ratings predicted for much of southern Europe mean that the size and intensity of any fires could be increased significantly, and this is what we observed in our emissions estimates and the impact it has on local air quality. “
CAMS has released satellite images showing a plume of smoke from the massive in southwestern France stretching hundreds of miles above the Atlantic Ocean.
France has received help fighting the latest blaze – which is 40 kilometers (25 miles) wide and which forced about 10,000 people to evacuate the region – in the form of 361 firefighters from European neighbors including Germany, Poland, Austria and Romania .
Globally, 2022 is currently the fourth highest year in terms of carbon from wildfires, CAMS said.
Scientists say heat waves, such as the exceptionally hot and dry spell in Western Europe, are significantly greater due to human-induced climate change.
Heat in Europe causes harmful ozone pollution, ‘extreme’ fire hazard
© 2022 AFP
Quote: 2022 sets record fire activity in Southwest Europe: EU (2022, August 12) retrieved on August 12, 2022 from https://phys.org/news/2022-08-southwest-europe-eu.html
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