Global warming has unexpected consequences: now the main danger comes from fires in the tundra, writes Paolo Virtuani in a material published on the website of the newspaper Corriere della Sera.
"In 2007, the largest fire in the arctic tundra in the history of the observations threw into the atmosphere the amount of carbon dioxide that was accumulated over the previous 50 years by the permafrost of the entire tundra." The fire occurred near the Anaktuvuk River near the Brooks mountain range in northern Alaska. The fire near Anaktuvuk turned into an ashes area with an area of 1039 square kilometers, 2.3 million tons of carbon fell into the atmosphere, "the newspaper writes.
"The consequences of global warming are beginning to appear in the increasingly northerly latitudes of the planet." The greatest concern is the melting of permafrost, but the main thing is not that as a result of melting the soil becomes soft and mud-like, and the structures built in such zones lose stability. The fact that the permafrost of the tundra has accumulated huge amounts of carbon and methane in the form of ice for thousands of years, which are released into the atmosphere during the melting process.Methane, as a greenhouse gas, is a dozen times dangerous With global warming, in addition to the release of these gases, there is a serious increase in the risk of fires, such as in 2007 in Alaska, "the author of the article said.
"The impact of fires on the fragile ecosystem of the tundra is still poorly understood, but the arctic summer seasons are becoming more and more prolonged and dry." The fire in the Anaktuvuk area was due to lightning. It is believed that the fire that has arisen on such wet soil as melting permafrost should quickly But the summer of 2007, a study published in the scientific journal Nature said, was particularly dry, the fire did not fade and continued to spread for weeks until strong winds blew up the flames in September. "Such strong fires in a The Arctic tundra has not been observed for 10,000 years, "says Michelle Mac from the University of Florida, in view of the large area of the tundra in the Northern Hemisphere, a study published in Nature, for the first time, alarms an ecological bomb that may be fires in the tundra. According to scientists, greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere as a result of such fires can many times exceed the emissions of industrialized and developing countries, "the article says.