Scientists issue dire 2023 warning as UK to be ravaged by more extreme wildfires | Science | News
Scientists have issued a grim prediction for 2023 as extreme wildfires in Britain and the rest of Europe could get worse over the next year, Express.co.uk has learned. The continent has been ravaged by fires this summer as many experts point out that climate change is leading to a warmer world.
In Britain, the Met Office issued its first red extreme heat warning on July 8, affecting central and southern England, as a devastating heatwave gripped the nation. This led to the UK declaring a national emergency on July 15 when the red alert was introduced. Based on the trends, researchers warned that Europe could experience a similarly harsh summer in 2023.
Speaking to Express.co.uk, Dr. Mark Parrington, Chief Scientist at the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service: A recent paper by Carnicier et al. provides information on the trends in fire danger and severity in Europe over the last few decades.”
He noted that this “also shows the link between increased occurrences and emissions from wildfires as fire risk increases (especially for southern Europe, although other regions, including northern Europe and the UK, also have increasing fire risk).
“Due to increased flammability and fire risk due to climate change, it is expected that there could be greater fire emissions in Europe over the next year, but actual occurrence is difficult to predict.”
The Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS) estimates that in 2022 (until December 10) around 1,455 megatons of CO2 emissions were produced worldwide as a result of wildfires and wildfires.
It found that there is an ongoing decline in total global emissions from fires around the world, mainly due to a decline in savannah fires in the tropics.
However, CAMS scientists also monitored several regions around the world, particularly parts of Europe and South America, which saw significantly high emissions during peak wildfire season.
dr Parrington said: “Our monitoring of wildfires and vegetation fires in general shows that emissions continue to decline at a global scale associated with land-use change and declining savannah fires in the tropics.
“However, we continue to identify and monitor significantly increased fire emissions in various parts of the world where hotter and drier conditions are leading to increased flammability of vegetation.”
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Total wildfire emissions from the European Union and the United Kingdom between 1 June and 31 August 2022 for these months are estimated to be the highest since the summer of 2007.
The scientists explained that some of the contributing factors included the increase in length and intensity of summer heat waves combined with the continent’s overall dryness in 2022.
dr Parrington added: “The scale and intensity of the fires reflect the increased flammability of vegetation, which increases with hotter and drier conditions due to climate change.
“Weather conditions also play a role in the actual timing and occurrence of the fires, but climate change contributes to the underlying causes of extreme wildfires.”
Elevated wildfire emissions in Europe are of particular concern for regions in France, Spain and Portugal, where total emissions over the same period were the highest in 20 years, causing local air quality to deteriorate.
Other regions with significantly increased emissions from vegetation fires this year were in North and South America. Between January and March, some regions in Paraguay and Argentina experienced record-high fire emissions for the season.
Large and sustained wildfires erupted in Alaska and the Northwest and Yukon Territories of Canada in June and July, leading to some smoke transport into the Arctic Circle.