Researcher: We wanted to understand the role of emissions in wildfire worsening.
According to a recent study by American climate scientists, greenhouse gas emissions caused by large companies producing fossil fuels have a significant impact on the increase in wildfires and wildfires. The analysis published Tuesday concerned the impacts of carbon dioxide and methane emissions from the so-called Big 88 companies in western parts of North America.
According to the results, looking at wildfires in the western parts of the United States and southwestern parts of Canada during the last 40 years, the emissions caused by the operations of these companies are indirectly related to the area burned by wildfires. accounted for more than a third. or so.
The fire damage in that area has gotten worse over the decades. In nature, fires burn more intensely for longer periods of the year and over larger areas.
– We wanted to better understand the role of fossil fuel industry emissions in changes in wildfires, says Christina Dahl of the Union of Concerned Scientists.
So far, the cost of reconstruction and prevention of fire has been paid largely by the general public, i.e. society and private individuals.
The goal was to find out the companies’ role in the fire so they could be held responsible for their fair share of the costs, Dahl said.
The Big 88 companies include, for example, ExxonMobil, BP, Chevron and Shell.
cause a large part of global warming
With the help of climate modeling, the research report concluded that emissions from 88 major companies have contributed to an average global temperature increase of 0.5°C since the beginning of the 20th century. This accounts for about half of the observed warming of the planet.
The report’s authors included in their calculations all emissions from the life cycle of fossil fuels, from mining and flaring to processing and use, for example, in vehicles.
According to calculations by Dahl’s group, emissions from the Big 88 were indirectly responsible for 37 percent of the total area destroyed by wildfires in the western United States and southwestern Canada between 1986 and 2021. During this, reliable fire area information has been received.
According to modeling, emissions from the manufacture and use of products from the largest 88 companies have contributed to the burning of eight million hectares in the western parts of North America. The area roughly corresponds to the size of the Czech Republic.
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