Satellite Observations Reveal Decreasing Trend in Global Wildfires

By Paul Homewood

By Paul Homewood

Dang, those inconvenient satellites!

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While wildfires in the Western U.S. continue to rage, satellite observations over the last 20 years have revealed a decreasing trend in global wildfires. What’s going on?

As strong winds and hot air continue to propel wildfires across the Western U.S. states of California, Oregon, and Washington state, politicians, activists, and researchers quarrel violently about the main causes of these disasters and how to reduce the risk of wildfires in the future.

There can be little doubt that drought conditions and high temperatures are exacerbating these wildfires.

However, over recent decades human activities such as land management and agriculture, increasing population density and active fire suppression have succeeded in significantly reducing the global areas burned by wildfires, despite the rise in global temperatures.

To understand why some arid and semi-arid regions of the world have managed to reduce wildfires in the face of rising temperatures, such as Mediterranean Europe, while other regions haven’t succeeded to do so, will be crucial to risk reduction policies.

Below we have selected recent research papers, based on satellite observations, which reveal the decreasing trend in global wildfires and the most likely reasons for these encouraging developments.

Full article here.

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September 17, 2020 at 03:57AM

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