The intense wildfires that ravaged parts of Europe this summer have caused the largest emissions of carbon and other pollutants in 15 years. Scientists from Copernicus, the European Union’s Earth observation programme, determined this using satellite data.
Scientists estimate carbon emissions in the European Union and the United Kingdom at 6.4 megatons. Since the summer of 2007, the counters have not been very loud.
According to Copernicus, the combination of the August heat wave and persistent drought in Western Europe not only led to more wildfires. The fires were also very intense and long lasting.
France and Spain in particular suffered from devastating forest fires. In those countries, the associated emissions were the largest in twenty years, according to researchers from the European Union Service.
The Netherlands is also experiencing more forest fires
There have also been many wildfires in the Netherlands. For example, the Maribel Nature Reserve in North Limburg is still ablaze. There was a fire burning there for several days, causing a lot of inconvenience from the smoke.
Copernicus regularly points out that rising temperatures and droughts are becoming more frequent as a result of climate change. This is also evidenced by various reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, an international panel of climate scientists from the United Nations. Copernicus forest fire expert Mark Barrington described the scale of the fires as “extremely concerning” in a statement.
After Europe’s hot summer, Copernicus will closely monitor the Amazon with satellites in the near future. There will be a time of year in a few weeks when there are usually the most bushfires.
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