The devastating scrub fires in Australia in late 2019 had the biggest impact on climate change, according to a study by the US National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR).
John Fasulo, a researcher at NCAR, and colleagues quantified the climate impact of reduced transportation and industrial activities during the coronavirus pandemic, as well as the impact of bush smoke in Australia, using computer modeling.
The forest fires had a quick impact
He found that the exit restrictions associated with the coronavirus pandemic in 2020 had a moderate and relatively gradual effect on the climate, increasing global warming by an average of 0.05°C by 2022. In contrast, wildfires had a short but more significant effect, as the land cooled by an amount 0.06 °C within a few months.
Photo: Fairfax Media/Getty Images Hungary
“Covid-19 has never been the main driver of climate change, but bushfires are raging in Australia,” Fasulo was quoted as saying by The Guardian. A study published in Geophysical Research Letters highlights the widespread impact of wildfires and major bushfires on the world’s weather system. Wildfires release a lot of sulfur and other vapors into the atmosphere that can break up the weather system, drive tropical storms north of the equator, and affect intermittent warming and cooling in the tropical Pacific, i.e. El Nino and La Nina phenomena.
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Our research has shown that the impact of regional wildfires on global climate can be significant. Fires have a large footprint in both the atmosphere and the oceans. Fasulo explained that the climate response was the same in the case of a large volcanic eruption.
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(Image source: Getty Images Hungary)