Climate Change

This is how much carbon wildfires have emitted this year

A firefighter works as the Caldor Fire burns in Grizzly Flats, California, U.S., August 22, 2021. Reuters photographer Fred Greaves: "As a photographer covering wildfires in California, 2021 was one of the most challenging years that I can remember. A severe multi-year drought along with sustained hot and windy weather created multiple “mega-fires” that were unpredictable and quickly consumed hundreds of square miles.  It can take hours to navigate around large wildfires in remote areas, so proper planning is critical to make sure you are in the right place. I also have to wear safety equipment and check on weather conditions and local fire activity so I don’t become trapped.  Firefighters were conducting a nighttime controlled burn to clear brush out after temperatures cooled and the wind had died down to protect homes that were potentially in the path of the Caldor Fire in Northern California. They lit backfires at the base of a hill, expecting it would burn at a moderate pace. Instead, the flames quickly raced up the side of the hill, creating the swirling curtain of fire that silhouetted one of the firefighters. It was yet another example of the unpredictable nature of wildfires."  REUTERS/Fred Greaves/File Photo    SEARCH "POY STORIES 2021" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES   TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

Wildfires emitted 1.76 billion tonnes of carbon globally in 2021. Image: REUTERS/Fred Greaves

Kate Abnett
Reporter, Reuters
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