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Copernicus: devastating fires in eastern Siberia, western Canada, and the western United States

Copernicus: devastating fires in eastern Siberia, western Canada, and the western United States

The Copernicus Climate Monitoring Service reports that regions of eastern Siberia, particularly the Sakha Republic in the Far East, are being badly affected by forest fires that are worse than those of previous years. At the same time, it is burning intensely in British Columbia in western Canada, spewing large amounts of smoke into the atmosphere.

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Left: Total fire radiation from June 1 – July 4 for eastern Russia (left) for 2021 (red), yellow (2020), orange (2021) versus daily average between 2003-2018 (grey).
Right: Estimated carbon dioxide emissions from wildfires in the western United States from June 1 to July 4, 2021.
Källa: Copernicus Atmosphere Watch Service / ECMWF.

Copernicus Atmospheric Monitoring Service (CAMS), conducted by the European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts on behalf of the European Commission, reports that the fires of recent weeks in eastern Siberia, particularly in the Sasha region in the Far East, have reached new extremes in terms of daily fire intensity comparable to the intensity measured in The same time in the last two years. If the trend continues, it will have a similar effect. At the same time, devastating wildfires broke out in British Columbia, as well as in California, Arizona and other states in the western United States. These are areas that were previously subjected to severe drought, resulting in the second highest carbon dioxide emissions on record in the western United States. Researchers from the Competence Assurance Management System have been monitoring wildfires in these areas since the start of the Arctic fire season in May 2021. CAMS researchers report that fires have been burning in the western United States, starting in Arizona since early June. The state was hit hard by drought and the fires showed intense radiative forcing (FRP). FRP is a measure of heat output that shows intensity. The data shows that daily radiation in the Arizona fires was well above average throughout June and that significant amounts of smoke pollutants were released into the atmosphere. Towards the end of the month, devastating wildfires erupted in British Columbia and California, with particularly strong fire intensity in a few fires..

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Top of the page: Total daily fire radiation effect between June 1 and July 4, 2021 (red) and the daily average between 2003-2020 (gray) for Arizona (left) and California (right).

Below: CO2 emissions estimates for June 1–July 4, 2021 compared to previous years (2003-2020) for Arizona (left) and California (right).

Källa: Copernicus Atmosphere Watch Service / ECMWF

Meanwhile, fires in the Sacha region have largely reached with very high daily FRP values. Competence Assurance Management System data shows that in 2021, as in the past two years, 2019 and 2020 were well above average, representing an upward trend for the region. Although the fire season usually begins in June, the fires in the Sacha region are already very dangerous and are similar to the start of record fires in 2019 and 2020. The most important fire activities in the region and in the Arctic usually occur in July and August. The past four years have seen the worst fires that have occurred during that period. In addition to the devastation and danger to life due to forest fires, smoke poses a serious health hazard not only in the vicinity but also far from the source of the fire after a long distance transported with winds over hundreds or thousands of kilometers Forest fires cause much greater air pollution than industrial emissions, Because it produces a mixture of particles, carbon monoxide and other pollutants.

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Left: Total igneous radiation from fires/day between June 1 – July 4 for the Sacha region in Eastern Siberia (left) for 2021 (red), yellow (2020), orange (2021) vs. daily average between 2003-2018 (gray ). Right: estimates of carbon dioxide emissions from fires in the Sacha region for the period from 1 June to 4 July 2003-2021. Källa: Copernicus Atmosphere Watch Service / ECMWF

Efficiency Assurance Management System data show that the daily fire radiation (FRP) impact of fires in the Sacha region was not only significantly above average, but also exceeded the values ​​of previous years. This peak shows the highest fire intensity recorded in the amount of data in recent years for that time and region. Since the most intense phase came during the last three days of June, the total monthly CO2 emissions for June 2021 were not as high as in 2019 and 2020, when there were less intense fires than in 2021 but there were An exceptionally early start to the active fire season. In the coming weeks, it will be very important to continue monitoring the fires.

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Left: Total fire radiation from fires/day between June 1 – July 4 for the Arctic Circle (left) for 2021 (red), yellow (2020), orange (2021) versus daily average between 2003-2018 (grey).

Right: Estimated carbon dioxide emissions from fires in the Arctic Circle for the period June 1 – July 4, 2003 – 2021. Källa: Copernicus Atmosphere Watch Service / ECMWF

CAMS researchers note that compared to the previous two years’ records of Arctic fires, lower emissions and fire radiation were recorded in June of this year in the area around the Arctic Circle. This is due in part to the unusually early onset of the Arctic fire season during record years 2019 and 2020. Efficiency Assurance Management System data from the Global Fire Absorption System (GFAS) show that, typically in July and August, fires in the Arctic Circle occur in July and August, it was unusual Seeing fires of this size and duration in June 2019 and 2020. Mark Barrington, Senior Researcher and Forest Fire Expert at ECMWF Copernicus Atmospheric Monitoring comments: “We are monitoring fires closely in British Columbia and the western United States, as well as certain areas of eastern Russia and the Arctic. It burns at a high intensity and releases large amounts of smoke into the atmosphere. A large number of wildfires usually occur in areas with drier conditions and higher temperatures. Early analyzes suggest that this may also be the case with these fires. Our monitoring does not consider the severity of not only fire, but also analyzes the effects of wildfires and smoke emissions more broadly, such as their impact on air quality.”

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More information about the ongoing fires:

The Competence Assurance Management System global fire monitoring page is available here: https://atmosphere.copernicus.eu/fire-monitoring For more information on fire monitoring and CAMS Wildfire FAQs: https://atmosphere.copernicus.eu/qa-wildfires

About ECMWF and Copernicus
Copernicus is the EU’s finest Earth observations and is based on satellite data in six areas: atmospheric, marine, land, climate change, security and emergency. It provides freely available data and operational services that provide users with reliable and up-to-date information about our planet and its environment. The program is coordinated and managed by the European Commission and implemented in partnership with Member States, the European Space Agency (ESA), the European Organization for the Development of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT) and the European Center for Meteorological Forecasting (ECMWF), including the agencies of the European Union and Mercator Ossian.

ECMWF operates two services of the European Union’s Copernicus Earth Observation Program: the Copernicus Atmospheric Monitoring Service (CAMS) and the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S). They also contribute to the Copernican Emergency Management Service (CEMS). The European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) is an independent intergovernmental organization supported by 34 countries. It is an operational research and service institute that produces and publishes digital weather forecasts to member countries 24/7. These data are available to the national meteorological services of the member states. The supercomputer facility (with associated data archives) at the ECMWF is one of the largest of its kind in Europe and member states can use 25% of its capacity for their own purposes.

ECMWF is increasing the number of places in which it does business. In addition to the main office in the UK and the computing center in Italy, new offices focusing on activities implemented in partnership with the European Union, such as Copernicus, will be located in Bonn, Germany starting in the summer of 2021.

Copernicus Atmosphere Watch Service (B): http://atmosphere.copernicus.eu/

Copernicus Climate Change Service website: https://climate.copernicus.eu/
More information about Copernicus: www.copernicus.eu

ECMWF: s webb: https://www.ecmwf.int/

Media connection

Nuria Lopez
Communication | Copernicus contracts and the press
General manager’s office
European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts
Reading, UK | Bologna, Italy
Email: [email protected]
Phone: +44 (0) 118949 9778
Mobile: +44 (0) 7392277523
Twitter: Tweet embed

Bjorn Mogensen
Oxenstierna Communication
+46 708-184298
[email protected].se

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