“Zombie fires” threaten Canada... How so?

2024-02-24 2024-02-24T11:55:12Z
ندى ماهر عبدربه
ندى ماهر عبدربه
صانع مُحتوى

ArabiaWeather - Even in the depths of Canada's harsh winter, forest fires continue to burn, which in turn witnessed record numbers last year as fires known as "zombie fires" break out under thick layers of snow at an unprecedented rate, raising concerns about what may... Coming next summer.

During the winter, motorists traveling along the Fort Nelson Highway in British Columbia can easily spot - and smell - clouds of white smoke rising from the ground around them.

Study... The increase in zombie fires in the north may be the result of rising temperatures

A recent study highlights the possibility of "zombie fires" spreading to northern regions such as Alaska and Canada due to rising temperatures.
Most forest fires are extinguished with the advent of winter , but “zombie fires” may seep underground and ignite again in the spring, and research indicates that these fires are more likely to occur after hotter summers.
Zombie fires originate in boreal forests, where flames feed on peat (organic material transformed into coal) deep in the soil.
Although extreme cold and heavy snow eventually prevent most fires, the right conditions can create fires that do not go out, like zombie fires, as they remain fueled in the soil and survive on the oxygen available under the snow.
Just below the Arctic Circle, these rare fires travel and remain underground during the winter, only to erupt again when the snow melts, causing new fires.
It is worth noting that zombie fires have a significant impact, as one of them in 2008 caused the burning of 38% of the burned land in Alaska, equivalent to the size of San Francisco, according to a study published in the journal Nature.

This study predicts that these fires will become more widespread as global temperatures continue to rise.

Rebecca Scholten, a climate researcher at the Free University of Amsterdam, who co-authored the study, told Business Insider:

"We may see more zombie fires in the future. We see an upward trend in summer temperatures in northern regions, and this is consistent with annual increases in burned areas."

Zombie fires and high temperatures

Scholten's team found that zombie fires were, predictably, more widespread after hotter summers that saw large fires occur over large areas.

As temperatures rise in summer, the soil and underground plants dry out, which is what zombie fires consume during their dormancy.

Scholten's team studied reports from local fire managers and firefighters, as well as satellite images of Alaska and the Canadian Northwest Territories taken between 2002 and 2018. They found 74 zombie fires in those 16 years. Scholten said:

“We can identify zombie fires from satellites because they look close to an ancient fire scar.”

Zombie fires require a specific habitat, as they occur in the Arctic and sub-Arctic regions of North America and Siberia due to the deep layers of soil there, known as peat, which contain rich amounts of organic matter, and the burning flames can consume these materials, making them able to... Survive even when ambient temperatures drop to minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

The impact of zombie fires under climate change

Although rare, zombie fires are emerging as a potential indicator of future changes, with a new study suggesting that they account for just 0.8% of the area burned in northern regions over the past 16 years. However, hot summers and increasing wildfires are increasing their likelihood.

Rising concentrations of carbon dioxide and rising temperatures are making the Arctic more vulnerable to climate change. What makes zombie fires dangerous is the exacerbation of the climate problem itself, as the burning of plants releases greenhouse gases, and the burning of peat underground releases more methane.

This loop of emissions and warming could make more zombie fires more likely, creating a cycle that causes more emissions, and so on.

Read also:

The first fire on planet Earth... when and how did it happen?

Forest fires kill at least 15 people in Algeria

weather condition

Drag movement


Sources:

arabic.rt

al-magala.

cbsnews

cbc.ca

independent

This article was written originally in Arabic and is translated using a 3rd party automated service. ArabiaWeather is not responsible for any grammatical errors whatsoever.
شاهد أيضاً
Related News
83 monkeys die in Mexico. What does climate change have to do with this?

83 monkeys die in Mexico. What does climate change have to do with this?

After the Singapore plane tragedy...Does climate change have anything to do with turbulence?

After the Singapore plane tragedy...Does climate change have anything to do with turbulence?

Sultanate of Oman and the Emirates | Significant increases in temperatures, approaching 50 degrees Celsius at the beginning of the week

Sultanate of Oman and the Emirates | Significant increases in temperatures, approaching 50 degrees Celsius at the beginning of the week

Sultanate of Oman and the Emirates | Monitoring eastern waves and direct effects of the monsoon depression at intervals this summer... Details

Sultanate of Oman and the Emirates | Monitoring eastern waves and direct effects of the monsoon depression at intervals this summer... Details