The Arctic Is Burning

August 14th, 2019 - by & Harry Cockburn / The Independent

The Arctic Is Burning, Creating a Smoke Cloud Bigger than the European Union – The World in Action

 (August 13, 2019) — The planet hasn’t seen anything like it in 10,000 years — July was the hottest month ever recorded! This isn’t global warming. It’s global scorching. And it’s going to get much, much worse …

It’s terrifying, but nothing is more dangerous than giving up hope – because we CAN still turn this nightmare scenario into a beautiful, clean, green future for our children and grandchildren!

That’s why Avaaz is going all out on a 16-month plan to turn things around — beginning at a decisive UN climate summit next month, and culminating at the end of next year at the most important climate talks since the Paris deal was inked. Here’s how we can win:
•  Push governments to declare a climate emergency and commit to 100% clean energy

•  Help get millions to join brave children for the biggest climate strike in history next month

•  Offer trainings to the most inspiring youth climate leaders around the world

•  Face down Big Oil blockers and their cronies wherever they threaten to take power

But for this to work, we need to get started right now! If 10,000 of us donate just the cost of a coffee per week, we can power this global climate resistance to defend everything we love.

Some have already given up on tackling climate change. But the truth is, we already have all the tools we need to create a thriving clean, green global economyRenewable energy is now often cheaper than fossil fuels, and around the world, an inspiring movement of young leaders is rising, determined to secure a 100% clean future for all of us.

Right now they’re coming under vicious attack from climate deniers and the fossil fuel industry, but together we can throw the power of our movement behind them and go all out ahead of next month’s summit — then, show up at every major political moment in the next 16 months, fighting for everything we love!

No other movement has the global reach to do this everywhere, and at scale.

Before the Paris climate talks, they said our movement’s goal of 100% clean energy was impossible. But together, we made magic happen, with massive global marches, beautiful actions and smart inside advocacy, and now countries around the world are producing 100% clean plans! But too many are lagging behind, putting everything at risk — and our movement of millions is needed again.

With hope, love and lots of determination,

Bert, Marigona, Joseph, Risalat, Rosa and the whole Avaaz team

Avaaz is a 51-million-person global campaign network that works to ensure that the views and values of the world’s people shape global decision-making. (“Avaaz” means “voice” or “song” in many languages.) Avaaz members live in every nation of the world; our team is spread across 18 countries on 6 continents and operates in 17 languages. Learn about some of Avaaz’s biggest campaigns here, or follow us on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram.

‘Unprecedented’ Satellite Images Show Huge Swathes of the Arctic on Fire

Harry Cockburn / The Independent

(July 22, 2019) — Vast swathes of the Arctic are suffering from “unprecedented” wildfires, new satellite images have revealed. 

North of the Arctic circle, the high temperatures are facilitating enormous wildfires which are wreaking ecological destruction on a colossal scale.

It comes after the world’s hottest June on record which has been followed by a devastating heatwave in the US, with Europe forecast for the same treatment later this week.

Satellite images reveal fires across GreenlandSiberia and Alaska, with warm dry conditions following ice melt on the enormous Greenland icesheet commencing a month earlier than average.

Pierre Markuse, a satellite photography expert, posted images showing smoke billowing across massive areas of uninhabited and wild land. 

The pictures show forest fires and burning peat. They also reveal the extent of the damage the fires leave behind. In Alaska wildfires have already burned more than 1.6 million acres of land.

Mark Parrington, a senior scientist at the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecast, said the amount of CO2 emitted by Arctic wildfires between 1 June and 21 July 2019 is around 100 megatonnes and is approaching the entire 2017 fossil fuel CO2 emissions of Belgium.

“I think it’s fair to say July Arctic Circle wildfires are now at unprecedented levels, having surpassed previous highest #CopernicusGFAS estimated July total CO2 emission (2004/2005), & last month’s 50 megatonnes … and still increasing,” he tweeted.

The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) has described the fires in the northern hemisphere as “unprecedented” and warned of the enormous impact they are having on CO2 levels contributing to the climate crisis.

“Since the start of June, the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (Cams) has tracked over 100 intense and long-lived wildfires in the Arctic Circle,” the WMO said in a statement

“In June alone, these fires emitted 50 megatonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, which is equivalent to Sweden’s total annual emissions. This is more than was released by Arctic fires in the same month between 2010 and 2018 combined.”

“Although wildfires are common in the northern hemisphere between May and October, the latitude and intensity of these fires, as well as the length of time that they have been burning for, has been particularly unusual,” the organisation said, quoting Dr Parrington. 

“The ongoing Arctic fires have been most severe in Alaska and Siberia, where some have been large enough to cover almost 100,000 football pitches, or the whole of Lanzarote. In Alberta, Canada, one fire is estimated to have been bigger than 300,000 pitches. In Alaska alone, Cams has registered almost 400 wildfires this year, with new ones igniting every day.”

The average June temperature in the region of Siberia where wildfires are raging was almost 10 degrees higher than the 1981 – 2010 long-term average.

The WMO added: “The northern part of the world is warming faster than the planet as a whole. That heat is drying out forests and making them more susceptible to burn. A recent study found Earth’s boreal forests are now burning at a rate unseen in at least 10,000 years.”

Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.

More Information:
•  Climate change: 12 years to save the planet? Make that 18 months (BBC)
•  Huge swathes of the Arctic on fire, ‘unprecedented’ satellite images show (The Independent)
•  Arctic wildfires spew soot and smoke cloud bigger than EU (The Guardian)
•  In Europe, a historic heat wave is shattering records with astonishing ease, may hasten Arctic melt (Washington Post)
•  ‘Everyone Should Mobilize’: Climate Leaders Urge Massive Turnout for Sept. 20 Global Climate Strikes (Common Dreams)