Forest fires cause 20% of CO2 emissions

Forest fires that cause deforestation and habitat loss are also responsible for 20% of carbon dioxide emissions. It is a phenomenon that feeds global warming. Fire and climate are a tandem that goes back at least 400 million years, since plants began to colonize the Earth.

It used to be that forest fires resulted from natural phenomena such as lightning or volcano eruption. Now, almost 100 percent of such fires are caused by human activity, concludes a research at the University of Tasmania in Hobart (Australia) which has recently been published in the journal Science.

The scientific researchers state that, during the past decade, there have been major uncontrolled fires across all vegetated continents, regardless of national capacity to combat or control these fires. The researchers add that, together with their high economic costs, forest fires also effect human health. The study authors also assessed how fires affect the Earth in terms of ecosystems, biodiversity, carbon stocks, and climate. They warn that the current capacity to control fires may diminish in the future as climate change alters the patterns of fire.

According to the researchers, the phenomenon of forest fires is difficult to assess because fires are still poorly represented in global models which until now have not had a large consideration. This is in spite of the fact that 12 years have passed since the signing of the Kyoto Protocol which also globally attempts to control forest fires because they have shown high contribution to CO2 emissions which, in fact, is more than the combined emissions of all transport systems on earth (vehicles, ships, and aircraft).

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Via Science Agogo



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