Kaima, How are you doing in Alaska. Do you suffer from the large fires, the smoke, smog and atmospheric particulate matter (Atmospheric aerosol particles) of the wild fires? The Arctic Circle is suffering from an unprecedented number of wildfires in the latest sign of a climate crisis. With some blazes the size of 100,000 football pitches, vast areas in Siberia, Alaska and Greenland are engulfed in flames. The World Meteorological Organisation has said these fires emitted as much carbon dioxide in a month as the whole of Sweden does in a year.
Wikipedia writes in it's 'Climate change and ecosystems':
In 2019 unusually hot and dry weather in parts of the northern hemisphere caused massive wildfires, from the Mediterranean to – in particular – the Arctic. Climate change, by rising temperatures and shifts in precipitation patterns, is amplifying the risk of wildfires and prolonging their season. The northern part of the world is warming faster than the planet on average. The average June temperature in the parts of Siberia, where wildfires are raging, was almost ten degrees higher than the 1981–2010 average. Temperatures in Alaska reach record highs of up to 90°F (32°C) on 4 July, fuelling fires in the state, including along the Arctic Circle.
In addition to the direct threat from burning, wildfires cause air pollution, that can be carried over long distances, affecting air quality in far away regions. Wildfires also release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, contributing to global warming. For example, the 2014 megafires in Canada burned more than 7 million acres of forest, releasing more than 103 million tonnes of carbon – half as much as all the plants in Canada typically absorb in an entire year.
Wildfires are common in the northern hemisphere between May and October, but the latitude, intensity, and the length of the fires, were particularly unusual. In June 2019, the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS) has tracked over 100 intense and long-lived wildfires in the Arctic. In June alone, they emitted 50 megatones of carbon dioxide - equivalent to Sweden’s annual GHG emissions. This is more than was released by Arctic fires in the same month in the years 2010 - 2018 combined. The fires have been most severe in Alaska and Siberia, where some cover territory equal to almost 100 000 football pitches. In Alberta, one fire was bigger than 300 000 pitches. In Alaska alone, CAMS has registered almost 400 wildfires this year, with new ones igniting every day. In Canada, smoke from massive wildfires near Ontario are producing large amounts of air pollution. The heat wave in Europe also caused wildfires in a number of countries, including Germany, Greece and Spain. The heat is drying forests and making them more susceptible to wildfires. Boreal forests are now burning at a rate unseen in at least 10,000 years.
The Arctic region, is particularly sensitive and warming faster than most other regions. Particles of smoke can land on snow and ice, causing them to absorb sunlight that it would otherwise reflect, accelerating the warming. Fires in the Arctic also increase the risk of permafrost thawing that releases methane - strong greenhouse gas. Improving forecasting systems is important to solve the problem. In view of the risks, WMO has created a Vegetation Fire and Smoke Pollution Warning and Advisory System for forecasting fires and related impacts and hazards across the globe. WMO’s Global Atmosphere Watch Programme has released a short video about the issue.
On the other end of the scale are the wild fires in Australia, which so far seem to have escaped becoming a topic, however severe they may be. The most surprising thing of this graphic is the relative size between the much advertised California fires and those in Australia. I wonder how the area burned compares with the Arctic fires. - I shouldn't wonder, it is shown directly on the bottom of the graphic - Austrailia seems about 2.5 times as large an area! Then considering how much more Australia is developed and more densely populated, the cost is staggering.