Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Wildfires starting to break out in British Columbia, Canada

Wildfire Danger Increasing

Wildfires are starting to break out in British Columbia, Canada. The wildfire on the image below started on May 1, 2016 (hat tip to Hubert Bułgajewski‎).

2 May, 2016

The coordinates of the wildfire are in the bottom left corner of above map. They show a location where, on May 3, 2016, it was 26.0°C (or 78.8°F). At a nearby location, it was 27.6°C (or 81.8°F) on May 3, 2016. Both locations are indicated on the map on the right.

These location are on the path followed by the Mackenzie River, which ends up in the Arctic Ocean. Wildfires aggravate heat waves as they blacken the soil with soot. As the Mackenzie River heats up, it will bring warmer water into the Arctic Ocean where this will speed up melting of the sea ice.

Moreover, winds can carry soot high up into the Arctic, where it can settle on the sea ice and darken the surface, which will make that more sunlight gets absorbed, rather than reflected back into space as before.

The danger of wildfires increases as temperatures rise. NSIDC scientist Andrew Slater has created the chart below of freezing degree days in 2016 compared to other years at Latitude 80°N. See Andrew's 
website and this page for more on this.
The situation is dire and calls for comprehensive and effective action as described in the Climate Plan

1 comment:

  1. The season is starting early this year. Having suffered the wildfires of WA and OR in 2015, we are not looking forward to this year.