Record Emissions from Mega Fires Last Summer

Massive wildfires in the Mediterranean, North America and Siberia led to record greenhouse gas emissions this summer.


The fire released 1.3 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere in July and another 1.4 billion metric tons a month later, EU climate agency Copernicus reported.

A metric ton is a thousand kilograms. Never before have such high emissions in summer been measured in the northern hemisphere. About a third of that was caused by fires in Russia, where fires have reduced huge areas to ashes.

Experts have been warning for some time that global warming could lead to more wildfires. What stood out as unusual this summer was the number of fires, the extent of affected areas and the intensity and duration of the fires, said Copernicus expert Mark Parrington.

Large fires have coincided with unprecedented heatwaves in recent months, including in Turkey. At least nine people were killed there this summer as a result of the natural disaster.

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