There is an online Global Forest Watch service on the Internet that allows you to monitor the state of the Earth’s forest cover in real time. Recently, the creators of the service shared alarming news – in 2021, the loss of forests in the northern regions of the world became the highest in the history of observations. In Brazil, the Republic of the Congo and other tropical parts of the world, losses are associated with massive tree felling and this is no longer news. But today, scientists are more concerned about losses in northern Russia, Canada and Alaska. In these areas, the main cause of death in forests is climate change – fires occur due to high temperatures and frequent droughts. According to open sources, more than 6.5 million hectares of forest disappeared in Russia last year. The question is: how strong will the fires be this year, in 2022? You can make a prediction right now.
Huge forest fires on Earth
For several years now, with the onset of hot days, the news has been filled with reports of forest fires. In 2020, a large fire broke out on the Australian island of Fraser – as a result of this incident, up to 40% of the territory of this piece of land burned. Also, strong fires were lit in the state of California, USA, where what was happening looked like real hell, because because of the fire the sky turned red. In July of the same year, 84 fires were recorded in the territory of Yakutia in an area of about 230,000 hectares. In April, in the Beskaragai region of Kazakhstan, the fire covered 2.5 thousand hectares of forest.
In 2021, Russia experienced a record heat wave, which had serious consequences. Since June, fires have engulfed taiga forests in Siberia and the Far East – by August, about 17 million hectares of forest had been burned. Some sources say the losses were greater than all the other forest fires combined, at least from the first observations from the late 20th century. But this is a clear exaggeration, because about 18 million hectares of forest were burned in Australia a year earlier. However, this does not reduce the magnitude of the disaster – the smoke from the forest fires in Russia in 2021 has even reached the North Pole!
Forest fires in 2022
The forecasts for 2022 are not encouraging. There are already reports of forest fires before the trees even have green leaves. For example, there are reports that 1,020 forest fires have already been recorded in Russia in an area of just over 50,000 hectares. However, the fire was not caused by unusual heat – the fires started due to human negligence. Last winter in many areas it was extremely snowy, so many forests dried up and the fire appeared and spread faster.
Fires have resumed in Siberia and the Far East – the reason for the early ignition is again a little snowy winter. The situation is particularly difficult in the Amur, Chelyabinsk and Tyumen regions. As of April 28, 1,600 people and nearly 500 pieces of equipment have been involved in fighting fires over an area of about 3,000 hectares. A state of emergency has even been declared in the Kurgan area – as of this writing, rescuers are known to have begun evacuating people from six villages.
С НАШЕЙ ПЛАНЕТОЙ ВООБЩЕ ТВОРИТСЯ ЧТО-ТО СТРАННОЕ. ПОДРОБНОСТИ ТУТ.
What causes forest fires?
The causes of forest fires are divided into natural and man-made.
In the first case, forest fires occur due to unusual heat or lightning. In rare cases, fires are caused by spontaneous burning of peat, volcanic eruptions and meteorite falls. Young forests with green trees are much less likely to catch fire than older forests with dry and diseased trees due to higher humidity. In some places, fire has been burning for many years – you can read about it here.
People are always to blame for the latter – many handle fire carelessly. In most cases, large-scale fires start due to a cigarette that has fallen on dry grass or an incompletely extinguished fire. That is why, with the onset of hot days, people are not allowed to light fires.
Based on all that was written above, it can be assumed that in 2022 there is a risk of serious forest fires. Of course, it all depends on how the summer will be – hot and dry, or cold and rainy. There are no exact weather forecasts, but some sources say it will be very hot again in the coming months. But these are far from the most accurate predictions – time will tell.
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How do you think summer 2022 will be in terms of weather and forest fires? Share your opinion in the comments.