Zombie wildfires are blazing through the Arctic, causing record burning
“Zombie” wildfires that were smoldering beneath the Arctic ice all winter suddenly flared to life this summer when the snow and ice above it melted, new monitoring data reveals.
And this year has been the worst for Arctic wildfires on record, since reliable monitoring began 17 years ago. Arctic fires this summer released as much carbon in the first half of July than a nation the size of Cuba or Tunisia does in a year.
That’s according to monitoring by the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service, the European Union’s Earth-monitoring organization. More than 100 fires have burned across the Arctic since early June, according to Copernicus. “Obviously it’s concerning,” Copernicus senior scientist Mark Parrington told the BBC. “We really hadn’t expected to see these levels of wildfires yet.”