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Menopausal Mother Nature

News about Climate Change and our Planet


Wildfires caused by global warming ‘are accelerating global warming’ – Yahoo News

High winds 80 to 100 miles per hour fueled apocalyptic wild fires which tore across open grasslands and through homes in Superior, Colorado off highway 36. Power was cut to 34,000 homes and over 30,000 residents were forced to evacuate. Over 500 homes were destroyed by the Marshall fire outside Boulder, Colorado which was sparked by downed power lines in high winds on December 30, 2021.

Wildfires raged around the world last summer (Getty)

Wildfires blazed around the world last summer, burning land from California to Siberia – and the carbon released is accelerating global warming.

The risk of wildfires has been increased by climate change – and the researchers warn that the carbon released by wildfires could lead to even more wildfires in the future, in what’s known as a ‘positive feedback loop’.

A report published by the UN last month warned that wildfires are on track to increase 50% by 2050.

The research was published in the journal One Earth, detailing how the brown carbon released by burning biomass in the northern hemisphere is accelerating warming in the Arctic.

Read more: A 1988 warning about climate change was mostly right

Blazing wildfires are accompanied by vast plumes of brown smoke, made up of particles of brown carbon suspended in the air.

In 2017, the Chinese icebreaker vessel Xue Long headed for the Arctic Ocean to research how brown carbon released by wildfires was affecting the climate.

The researchers investigated how its warming effects compared to those of denser black carbon from high-temperature fossil fuel burning, the second most powerful warming agent after carbon dioxide.

Read more: Melting snow in Himalayas drives growth of green sea slime visible from space

Their results showed that brown carbon was contributing to warming more than previously thought.

Pingqing Fu, an atmospheric chemist at Tianjin University said, “To our surprise, observational analyses and numerical simulations show that the warming effect of brown carbon aerosols over the Arctic is up to about 30% of that of black carbon.”

In the last 50 years, the Arctic has been warming at a rate three times that of the rest of the planet, and it appears that wildfires are helping to drive this discrepancy.

The researchers found that brown carbon from burning biomass was responsible for at least twice as much warming as brown carbon from fossil fuel burning.

Read more: Why economists worry that reversing climate change is hopeless

Like black carbon and carbon dioxide, brown carbon warms the planet by absorbing solar radiation.

“The increase in brown carbon aerosols will lead to global or regional warming, which increases the probability and frequency of wildfires,” says Fu.

“Increased wildfire events will emit more brown carbon aerosols, further heating the earth, thus making wildfires more frequent.”

Watch: What sea levels will look like by 2050


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