Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Siberian Wildfire Can Be Seen From Space as Earth's Boreal Forests Burn at Unprecedented Rates

Popular
Satellite image captured on June 23, 2017. NASA Earth Observatory

Images captured by NASA's Aqua satellite this week show wildfire smoke blanketing large swaths of Siberia's boreal forests.

The space agency notes that at least 27,000 hectares (100 square miles) burned in the Irkutsk Oblast region of southern Siberia and another 27,000 hectares burned in neighboring states and regions.


The massive blaze, which started in late June, is yet another example of how the effects of climate change has dramatically impacted the uppermost Northern Hemisphere.

A 2013 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences study determined that recent fires in the region's boreal forests have been the worst in 10,000 years and wildfire activity is anticipated to "increase dramatically."

As Climate Central's Brian Kahn explained, "the region where fires are burning has been a hot spot on the global temperature map."

"Since November, temperatures have been up to 7°F above average with some months far exceeding that mark. Climate change has been driving up temperatures around the world, but the northern tier of the planet has seen temperatures rise twice as fast," he wrote.

Furthermore, as temperatures continue to rise and the area dries up, things could get even worse.

"Climate change is expected to continue driving conditions that make destructive fires more common in boreal forests," Kahn noted. "That will reshape some of the most unique ecosystems on earth and the climate system itself. Boreal forests store about 30 percent of the world's carbon. When they burn, they put that carbon in the atmosphere, increasing the impacts of climate change and creating a vicious cycle that will likely lead to more fires."

Temperatures in Siberia have been more than 7°F above average since November.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Derrick Jackson

By Derrick Z. Jackson

As much as hurricanes Katrina and Maria upended African American and Latinx families, the landfall of the coronavirus brings a gale of another order. This Category 5 of infectious disease packs the power to level communities already battered from environmental, economic, and health injustice. If response and relief efforts fail to adequately factor in existing disparities, the current pandemic threatens a knockout punch to the American Dream.

Read More Show Less
President Donald Trump speaks during a roundtable meeting with energy sector CEOs in the Cabinet Room of the White House April 3 in Washington, DC. Doug Mills-Pool / Getty Images

By Andrea Germanos

A coalition of climate organizations strongly criticized President Donald Trump's in-person Friday meeting with the chief executives of some of the biggest fossil fuel companies in the world, saying the industry that fueled climate disaster must not be allowed to profiteer from government giveaways by getting bailout funds or preferred treatment during the coronavirus pandemic.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Pexels

By SaVanna Shoemaker, MS, RDN, LD

An Important Note

No supplement, diet, or lifestyle modification — aside from social distancing and practicing proper hygiene ⁠— can protect you from developing COVID-19.

The strategies outlined below may boost your immune health, but they don't protect specifically against COVID-19.

Read More Show Less
Pexels

By Zak Smith

It is pretty amazing that in this moment when the COVID-19 outbreak has much of the country holed up in their homes binging Netflix, the most watched show in America over the last few weeks has been focused on wildlife trade — which scientists believe is the source of the COVID-19 pandemic. Make no mistake: Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness is about wildlife trade and other aspects of wildlife exploitation, just as surely as the appearance of Ebola, SARS, MERS, avian flu and probably COVID-19 in humans is a result of wildlife exploitation. As a conservationist, this is one of the things I've been thinking about while watching Tiger King. Here are five more:

Read More Show Less
Pexels

By Hector Chapa

With the coronavirus pandemic quickly spreading, U.S. health officials have changed their advice on face masks and now recommend people wear cloth masks in public areas where social distancing can be difficult, such as grocery stores.

But can these masks be effective?

Read More Show Less