21-08-03 Smoke from Siberian Fires at North Pole
Natural World News, August 3, 2021
Plumes of Smoke From Siberian Wildfires
Has Reached North Pole, Prompting Concerns
By Precious Smith
It is well-known that Siberia is a cold place. But it's been very hot since May due to wildfires. Those wildfires are so serious that they've sent smoke moving to the North Pole, and it is expected that the plume will eventually reach Canada this week. The plumes of smoke emanating from wildfires will also find their way to northern Canada, showing everywhere is unsafe from the climate emergency.
These 2021 wildfires are already exceeding the 2020 record-setting season speaking of the carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere. Emissions from the wildfires are twice the 2003 to 2020 average, and the fires are still getting to many places and it has increased to the extent that it can't be controlled in an area referred to as the Sakha Republic.
The European Union's Earth Observation Program, Copernicus, predicted that plume was expected to get to the North Pole on Monday, journeying over 3,219 kilometers (2,000 miles) to reach there. NASA's Satellite images verified that forecast, with thick smoke swirling in the middle of the clouds over the top of the world. This notes the first time plumes from Siberian wildfires will have ever gotten to the area. Later this week, it is anticipated that smoke from the Siberian fires will move even further away, getting to northern Canada, it will cloud skies in this region and pollute the air. Portions of Canada are already witnessing the effect because of wildfires blazing across the country from British Columbia to Ontario.
Plumes are a concern for so many reasons. In residential regions of the Arctic, especially those near the wildfires themselves, are causing horrible air quality problems. Any soot that drops out of the plume into the sea and land ice could possibly increase melting in an area already under siege from heat. That's due to the fact that dark soot can make it absorb more heat than less thick snow and ice. Those impacts can be highly destructive for Indigenous communities relying on sea ice to hunt and travel.
These fires are an indication of the climate crisis. Officials have revealed the region on fire in the Sakha Republic is dealing with some of its driest conditions in 150 years, changing forests into a tinderbox. A study published after 2020 record fires reveals the intense heat that assisted in driving them was made 600 times more possible by the climate crisis. Researchers haven't carried out an analysis on the specific role of fossil-fueled planetary warming in this 2021 season, but it's very safe to conclude that when there's an ongoing heat wave, climate change is playing a role. In a dark twist, these fires are worsening the crisis.