Zombie Fire becoming more frequent

  • IASbaba
  • October 6, 2020
  • 0
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Zombie Fire becoming more frequent

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-III – Climate change

In news

  • According to a new study, the fire regimes in the Arctic are changing rapidly, with zombie fires becoming more frequent 
  • Fires occurring in the once-frozen tundra are also becoming frequent.
  • The fires in the Arctic spreading to areas which were formerly fire-resistant is a more worrying feature.

Key takeaways

  • The reason for this anomaly is that temperatures in winter and spring were warmer than usual during 2019-20.
  • The fires and record temperatures have the potential of turning the carbon sink into a carbon source and increasing global warming.
  • Peatlands do not regrow quickly after a fire, so the carbon released is permanently lost to the atmosphere.
  • As peatlands release more carbon, global warming will increase which will thaw more peat and cause more wildfires.
  • Arctic fires will affect the global climate over the long term.

Do you know?

  • Peatlands are wetlands that contain ancient, decomposed and partially decomposed organic matter.
  • Nearly half the world’s peatland-stored carbon lies between 60 and 70 degrees north, along the Arctic Circle.
  • Zombie Fire is a fire from a previous growing season that can burn slowly without smoke under the ground which is made up of carbon-rich peat. 
  • When the weather warms, the fire can reignite. 
  • These are also known as holdover fires.

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