August 2, 2019

So massive wildfires in Siberia are choking the urban centers of Russia, while the loss of forests and the plumes of smoke are spreading to America, and will make the climate even worse. Via CNN:

Summer wildfires in Siberia are relatively common, however, the situation this year is particularly bad with around 2.7 million hectares currently burning across six Russian regions, according to the country's Federal Forest Agency.

The government has declared a state emergency in five of these regions in response to the fires, which experts say have been fueled by a mix of record-high temperatures in some areas, lightning storms and strong winds, the Financial Times reported.

The government has been slow to respond to the fires, saying they won't try and fight them because they are in "hard-to-reach" areas away from urban populations, The Moscow Times reported.

Via the Washington Post, meanwhile, in Greenland:

An extraordinary melt event that began earlier this week continues on Thursday on the Greenland ice sheet, and there are signs that about 60 percent of the expansive ice cover has seen detectable surface melting, including at higher elevations that only rarely see temperatures climb above freezing.

July 31 was the biggest melt day since at least 2012, with about 60 percent of the ice sheet seeing at least 1 millimeter of melt at the surface, and more than 10 billion tons of ice lost to the ocean from surface melt, according to data from the Polar Portal, a website run by Danish polar research institutions, and the National Snow and Ice Data Center. Thursday could be another significant melt day, before temperatures drop to more seasonable levels.

This is, by the way, the second massive melt this summer. Unusual, they say.

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