Forest fires are a problem especially in hot areas and during summer time. In the US state of California, for example, forest fires often rage, but also in Australia and Portugal there have already been fierce fires this year, even calling for some death sacrifices.
This phenomenon has now also reached a country that has not yet been known for forest fires: Greenland.
Forest fires in Greenland
As a rule, dry areas with extreme heat waves are particularly affected by forest fires. Especially if the soil is covered with leaves and dry grasses, everything can heat up so strongly by the heat, that a great brand of heart originates, which eats through the nature.
In Greenland, one of the most northerly countries in the world, this is very unusual, because many areas of the country are covered with snow and ice.
The cause of the fire has not yet been discovered. Sometimes out-of-control camp fires are the reason for such devastating fires, but in Greenland the cause could be somewhere else. In the area it was relatively hot in the past days.
It was measured around 12 degrees Celsius – in a country where the average temperature is usually -20 degrees Celsius in winter and around ten degrees in summer.
Climate change blame for forest fires?
Experts believe that climate change could be responsible for the disaster. The reason: As a rule dead plant parts are enclosed by the permafrost and thus form a protective layer before the warm temperatures. This protective layer could have been thawed by the warming of the climate, thus releasing the parts of the warm solar radiation.
The fire was first recorded by a NASA satellite on July 31, 150 kilometers north of the city of Sisimiut. So far, experts, including Jessy McCarty from Miami University, based on the available data, assuming that several thousand hectares of land were reduced to ashes.
This is especially unusual because large parts of Greenland are buried in ice up to three kilometers thick. But on the edge of the coast are strong vegetation, which can burn completely.
Lightning and no rain
Stef Lhhermitte, a professor at the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, told the portal ” Gizmodo” : “As far as I know, we have to do with the biggest forest fires since the satellite was recorded by the year 2000.”
Lhhermitte has the theory that a lightning strike could have triggered the forest fires, since it has not rained in the affected region for a long time. These unfavorable conditions could mean that the fires will not cease in the foreseeable future.
And it could be even worse: the soot and the coal of the forest fires are whirled up and landed on snow and ice, which in turn causes them to melt.
This could jeopardize further areas because the dry plant parts can be exposed there too and catch fire quickly.
According to Lhermittes calculations, forest fires are already twice as bad this year as at least if the destroyed forest area is used as a benchmark. The phenomenon has been increasingly seen since 2014.
2017 highest forest fires in 10,000 years
According to a study from the year 2013, forest fires have continually worsened over the last 10,000 years. The authors of the study also see climate change as the cause. There were 677 fires in Europe alone by the end of June, with an average of 215 per year in the eight years before.
The Arctic region is warmer than any other region in the world. This leads not only to a rising sea level, also the forest fires are a consequence of the climate change.
Thanks to new technology and significantly better sensors, such a catastrophe could possibly be detected and absorbed in the future. The development should nevertheless give us thinking.