Monday, August 12, 2013

More on Wildfires

Previous posts have highlighted the huge amounts of carbon dioxide, methane and soot being emitted as a result of wildfires. Apart from this, there are further important pollutants to consider in regard to their potential to contribute to warming, especially at high latitudes.

The image below, dated August 7, 2013, and kindly supplied by Leonid Yurganov, shows high levels of carbon monoxide as a result of wildfires in Siberia, reaching high up into the Arctic all the way to Greenland. 

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Formation of tropospheric ozone mostly occurs when nitrogen oxides (NOx), carbon monoxide (CO) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) react in the atmosphere in the presence of sunlight. NOx, CO, and VOCs are therefore called ozone precursors. Apart from a health hazard, tropospheric ozone is an important greenhouse gas. Furthermore, carbon monoxide emissions contribute to hydroxyl depletion, thus extending the lifetime of methane.

While there appears to be little or no carbon dioxide from wildfires over North America on the above August 7 image, there are many recent wildfires raging over the North American continent, as illustrated by the August 12 map below, from Wunderground

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This point is illustrated even better on the image below [added later, ed.] showing a composite image with carbon monoxide over July 3-13, 2013. Carbon monoxide resulting from wildfires in Canada is seen crossing the Atlantic Ocean, due to the Coriolis effect, as well as reaching Greenland in large amounts.

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- Wildfires even more damaging

- The Threat of Wildfires in the North

- Wildfires in Canada affect the Arctic

1 comment:


    and that's without even factoring in all the trees dying from air pollution!