Girl Planting seeds

A heat wave thawed Siberia's tundra. Now, it's on fire.

Siberia is no stranger to large summertime wildfires, including fires north of the Arctic Circle in the region’s expansive boreal forests. But so far, 2020 has been a banner year for fire in the Russian Arctic. Mark Parrington, a senior scientist with the European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts, says that the fires started to spread across Siberia around the middle of June. Daily levels of “fire radiative power,” a measure of the fires’ heat output, rival those seen in 2019 (another extreme fire year) and far exceed anything else the Arctic has experienced since at least 2003. Russia’s Forestry Agency estimates that millions of acres of land have gone up in flames in eastern Siberia’s Sakha Republic, Chukotka, and Magadan regions. Read more...


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