Wild Fires and Climate Change

Over 5 million acres of forest have been burned to the ground with the recent California wildfires. SIx of the largest fires in the United States history have occurred this year. This includes the largest, August Complex, which is currently only at 34%containment. At the very end of 2019, the entire continent of Australia was on fire with roughly 12.35 million acres being burned. Why have the fires been so intense? One answer to this is climate change. Climate change has caused a lot of variables that affect how long fires are to increase. This includes higher average temperatures, stronger winds, and lower humidity. Over the past 20 years, the number of fires occurring yearly has been going down, however, the number of acres being burned has been increasing. This means that there are more megafires then ever before. Mega fires are fires that burn hotter witch means they are harder to put out and last longer.

These fires are being fueled by climate change but they are having detrimental reactions. Wildfires make up 5-10% of annual CO2. Wildfires aren't new; they have been around since before humans; climate change is making them worse. After a fire, the ground continues to emit CO2 but as the new land grows back it begins to absurd the CO2 filtering it out. However, it can not filter out the amount that the fire produced and the amount that humans produce leaving more and more CO2 in the air. These fires also produce ash and fine particles into the air, not only is this bad breathing but is also bad for the environment. These particles collect heat and then travel upward meaning they can heat the atmosphere for decades. The heavier particles can fall down to Earth others get washed down with rain. These spread across the entire world and increase the speed that ice sheets and snow-covered mountains.

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