In the year 2019, we saw some really devastating forest fires and it is evident that this would be causing global issues in coming years. An amazing visualisation created by the team at the Copernicus programme in Europe shows us how these wildfires have been taking alarming shapes and sizes around the world. This may not seem alarming to few but for people who are aware, these are heart wrenching events which have consumed half of our forests that existed.
The put together imagery and sensor readings from satellites, the 92-second clip shows how our world was on fire during the year 2019. They have mapped the areas of the planet that were lit up with wildfires over the course of the last 12 months.
While you view the clip you would understand the seriousness of the problem: you can notice that few parts of the world didn’t even had a break from these wildfire activity during 2019.
“It has been an extremely busy year for CAMS regarding the monitoring of wildfires,” says CAMS senior scientist Mark Parrington. “Throughout the year we have been closely watching the intensity of the fires and the smoke they emit all around the world and have experienced at times some quite exceptional fire activity.
“Even in places where we would expect to see fires at certain points of the year some of the activity has been surprising.”
Things to notice is the wildfires in the Arctic, an evidential sign of warming conditions in even the coldest parts of Earth. You can see these fires as winter turns to summer in the Northern Hemisphere in the video.
More than 100 wildfires have been ignited in the Arctic circle during the course of 2019, burning carbon reserves that then contribute to further warming of the atmosphere – these wildfires release more greenhouse gases into the air, while at the same time reducing the number of trees and vegetation able to soak up carbon dioxide.
“Although fire activity overall has been fairly average in the global sense for 2019, compared to previous years, there have been several instances of unusual intense activity in certain regions, including places with regular fire seasons, which has been devastating,” says Parrington.