Middle East

The world needs to prepare for more extreme wildfires: the United Nations

On Wednesday, the United Nations saw a sharp increase in the number of major wildfires around the world due to global warming in the coming decades, and the government is ready for the death and destruction of such huge flame trails. I warned that there wasn’t.

Even the most ambitious efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions cannot prevent a dramatic surge in the frequency of extreme fire conditions, the report commissioned by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) concludes. I attached it.

“By the end of this century, the likelihood of a wildfire in a particular year similar to Australia’s 2019-2020 Black Summer and the 2020 large Arctic fire could increase by 31 to 57 percent. It’s highly prone. “

Planetary heating is turning the landscape into a tinderbox, and more extreme weather means stronger, hotter and drier winds to incite flames.

Such wildfires burn in places where they are constantly occurring, and in unexpected places such as dry peatlands and thawing permafrost.

“Fires are not a good thing,” said Peter, a co-author who is an expert in forest fire management at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

“Social, health and psychological impacts on people are astounding and long-term,” he told journalists at a briefing.

Large-scale wildfires, which can rage out of control for days and weeks, cause respiratory and heart problems, especially for the elderly and very young.

A recent study at The Lancet concludes that wildfire smoke exposure causes an average of more than 30,000 deaths each year in the 43 countries for which data are available.

Economic losses in the United States (one of the few countries to calculate such costs) have fluctuated between $ 71 and $ 348 billion (€ 63 to 307 billion) in recent years, according to the assessment quoted in the report. did.

-Zombies fire-

Major flames can have a devastating impact on wildlife, putting endangered species at risk of extinction.

Scientists have calculated that, for example, Australia’s devastating 2019-20 wildfire has killed or harmed nearly 3 billion mammals, reptiles, birds and frogs.

Wildfires are exacerbated by climate change.

Heat waves, drought conditions, and reduced soil moisture amplified by global warming have caused unprecedented fires in the western United States, Australia, and the Mediterranean coast over the past three years.

Even in the Arctic Circle, which was previously largely unaffected by fires, the flames increased dramatically. This includes so-called “zombie fires,” which smolder underground during the winter and explode new flames.

However, wildfires also accelerate climate change, creating a vicious cycle of more fires and rising temperatures.

Last year, burning forests emitted more than 2.5 billion tons of global warming CO2 in July and August alone, according to the European Union’s Copernicus Atmospheric Monitoring Service (CAMS). This corresponds to India’s annual emissions from all sources.

A report edited by 50 top experts called for a rethinking of how to tackle the problem.

“The current government response to wildfires is often putting money in the wrong place,” said Inger Andersen, chief of the United Nations Environment Program.

“By preparing, we need to minimize the risk of extreme wildfires.”

http://www.gulf-times.com/story/710452/World-must-brace-for-more-extreme-wildfires-UN The world needs to prepare for more extreme wildfires: the United Nations

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