Up in Smoke: Carbon Released from the California Wildfires

Thomas Schueneman

About 8 million metric tons of carbon dioxide was burned into the atmosphere last week as the California wildfires raged.

That represents about a quarter of the monthly total of carbon released in the state from burning fossil fuels.

Wildfires, and the carbon released as they burn, is a natural process. One of the expected (and many think already occurring) consequences of global warming is increased drought in the American southwest, thus exacerbating wildfires, causing more carbon to go up in smoke and very possibly another example of a positive feedback loop that accelerates climate change.

Another concern is forestry management. Current trends toward fire suppression allows plant material to accumulate, feeding the next fire into a greater conflagration than it otherwise may have been.

Source and Further Reading:

Environmental News Network

Tags: california+wildfire, carbon+from+wildfire, global+warming, climate+change, drought, carbon+release

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