Jungfrau Zeitung – Highest emissions in Europe in 15 years

Forest fires | December 28, 2022

Carbon emissions from wildfires in Europe this summer are at their highest level in 15 years. Total emissions from wildfires in the European Union and the United Kingdom between June 1 and August 31 this year are at their highest level since the summer of 2007.

Satellite observations show an increase in emissions from wildfires.Photo: Keystone, Pablo Gianninazzi

The reason for this was, among other things, “the increased duration and intensity of summer heat waves in connection with the general drought on the continent,” said a statement from the European Union’s Copernicus Atmospheric Monitoring Service on Tuesday.

Of particular concern is the increase in emissions in some regions of France, Spain and Portugal. In fact, no higher total emissions have been detected there for 20 years. In addition, the air quality has deteriorated.

According to Copernicus, much higher emissions from forest fires were also recorded in North and South America. Record-breaking values ​​were measured in some regions of Paraguay and Argentina. The Brazilian state of Amazonas experienced the highest emissions from wildfires in 20 years in July and August. Alaska, Canada’s Northwest Territory, and Yukon were hit in June and July.

On the other hand, emissions from wildfires decreased around the world. The Copernican statement said this was due to the decrease in savannah fires in the tropics.

The European Union’s Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service monitors wildfires and their emissions using satellite observations of active fires. Carbon emissions are estimated based on the severity of the fire. The dataset goes back more than 20 years.

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