Larger and more severe wildfires have a significant negative influence on the environment because they worsen local air quality and cause pollution.
The influence of wildfires can be felt to a certain level, according to a recent study. Researchers from the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and the University of Colorado Boulder discovered that smoke and other burned biomass from wildfires are having an effect on the Arctic in a study that was published in Science Advances.
Researchers found that wildfires in Colorado and other parts of the Northern Hemisphere have the potential to eventually reach the Arctic. If this grows in importance, it may have an impact on other parts of the world’s climate patterns, which is a serious issue.
‘This research shows that particles generated from wildfires where people live can profoundly effect what happens in the Arctic thousands of kilometres away,’ said Patricia DeRepentigny, the paper’s primary author and a postdoctoral scholar at NCAR.
‘The Arctic is sometimes perceived as a place we shouldn’t worry about because it is so far from where we live. However, the fact that there is a back-and-forth relationship between what occurs here with wildfires and the sea ice, and that a loss of sea ice can then result in more wildfires here, strengthens our connection to the Arctic ‘Added DeRepentigny
DeRepentigny and her team examined the Community Earth System Model version 2 from NCAR (CESM2). They noticed that the Arctic sea lost ice drastically towards the end of the 20th century. The previous models didn’t highlight it, hence, the researchers decided to probe it further.
Following the necessary study, they discovered that the emissions from burning biomass had the greatest impact on the simulated disappearance of Arctic sea ice. They contrasted the forcings of the most recent and earlier climate model generations. A climate model can be modified in a variety of ways, such as by solar radiation, carbon dioxide, or methane emissions.
As stated in the paper, the researchers discovered that the primary variation is caused by the non-linear cloud effects that can occur when fire-released aerosols, microscopic particles or liquid droplets, combine with Arctic clouds.
Effects of wildfires on health
In addition to these health problems, wildfires can also cause eye and respiratory system discomfort from extended smoke exposure. There’s a risk of serious disorders, such as reduced lung function, bronchitis, exacerbation of asthma and heart failure.