Unfortunately today, we have some more dreary news. It’s important that we are all aware of and understand just how this news story occurred. Many of you may have heard news stories about the current wildfires especially in Athens and California, but how did they occur?
Previously a campfire created by a harmless family enjoying a weekend away camping or carelessly discarded cigarettes would not have the potential to become the natural disaster we see in the news today - however, due to drier conditions and loss of greenery in many forests around the world, wildfires are much more likely to occur (this does not mean that, in earlier years, littering a cigarette would not have any ongoing effect, as we know due to leaching of chemicals such as nicotine). Land which is experiencing drought is prone to wildfires and you should be very cautious not to light a flame in these areas as it could fuel something much larger. These materials have doubled the amount of wildfires in the western U.S between 1984 and 2015. High winds also spread wildfires rapidly.
Greece is currently suffering from its worst heatwave in over 30 years which is proven to have a link to the increasing amount of greenhouse emissions. In neighbouring Turkey, firefighters are also struggling to control the fires (the president of Turkey stated that these are the worst fires the country has ever seen). Year on year we see more wildfires in California and other states in the U.S.
These are not the only wildfires the world is facing today. It is undeniable that the surge in wildfires across the world is connected to climate change. Things need to change.
Climate change augments the drying of organic matter which is the fuel to these huge fires. In addition, glaciers are melting earlier in the year than usual, leading to a longer dry period in forests. Studies prove that more than 80% of wildfires in the U.S are caused by people.
We can either watch weather patterns change and work around wildfires or we can prevent them by all doing what we can.