Jul 28, 2017 11:04 AM EDT
Increasing global temperature due to climate change will enhance the frequency of the wildfires. In recent weeks wildfires brought huge destruction to North America, South Africa, and Europe.
Recently in southern France above 10000 people fled the raging fires. In Portugal, a dangerous wildfire killed 60 people. Devastating wildfires in the western part of Canada forced around 40000 people to flee when the officials declared a state of emergency.
Last month around 10000 people had to evacuate their homes and nine persons died due to a wildfire in South Africa. Last week wildfires engulfed a huge area of forest in California and forced around 8000 people to evacuate their own homes. Vegetation becomes dry, and simultaneously inflammable due to continuous heat. Dry vegetation can easily be set on fire by lightning or spontaneous combustion, Phys.org reported.
Currently, it is a clear fact that increasing mercury level indicates the higher risk of wildfires. Emission of the greenhouse gases due to the burning of the fossil fuel began after the advent of the Industrial Revolution. From the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, the average temperature rises globally by almost one degree Celsius. Many countries in 2015 in Paris agreed to limit the total global warming up to two degree Celsius.
But, this step is not sufficient as major heat waves will make the situation worse in future times. But, heat is not the only cause responsible for the wildfires. A recent research study has suggested that excessive temperatures brought major thunderstorms in the recent years that drove massive wildfires in Canada and Alaska. NASA research has indicated that increasing number of fires have taken place in the American west, Canada, India, Brazil, southern Africa, and parts of China.
NASA has made the drying and warming climate responsible for this. The space agency has even hinted the increasing risk of wildfires in many parts of the world. The current year has already witnessed severe high temperature globally from January to May over the land and the sea. The WMO or the World Meteorological Organization of the United Nations has recently reported that several nations have experienced high temperature in May, June.
These nations include the southwestern part of the United States, North Africa, Middle East, and parts of the European continent. The WMO reported that a third of the weather station in Portuguese recorded more than 40 degrees Celsius temperature in June. Since January, wildfires have burnt 75,000 hectares forest in Portuguese. A huge area in South Africa is battling against drought and severe water shortages.
Scientists are reluctant to attribute any specific heat wave, drought or other events to the climate change. It takes a long time to measure the climate change. But, the truth is wildfires or other events are taking place during the ongoing trend of the global warming. A study in 2016 by the European Commission suggested that fire prone surface areas could double in southern Europe in the 21st century.
A study in the Nature Climate Change has stated that currently 30 percent of the world population is exposed to the deadly heat waves. This percentage will increase hugely by 2100 if the emissions of the greenhouse gas are not checked. It is true that fire is a major risk to the forest that covers around a third of the world land surface. No doubt, excessive heat due to climate change will aggravate the frequency of the wildfires.
Climate change will increase the risks responsible for the wildfires. It seems that excessive heat is a great threat to the human lives and the increment of the greenhouse gas emissions could accelerate this situation. Long-term measures are necessary to combat the global warming. The residential areas should be moved from the forest borders to decrease the risk to the human lives and the properties.
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