The origin of forest fires around the world explained

Nature Communications: Change in sea temperature in the Atlantic provokes forest fires

An international team of climate scientists has explained the link between climate and high levels of wildfires around the world. This is reported in an article published in the journal Nature Communications .

The researchers analyzed satellite data as well as records from weather stations around the world from 1982 to 2018 to determine patterns in the increase in fires in different parts of the world. Previous research has shown that there are climatic links between events taking place around the world at different times. For example, El Niño or the Southern Oscillation is known to affect the weather in many parts of the world.

Specialists noticed that many large fires on different continents in past years occurred closer to each other in time than could be explained by seasonal changes in the weather.

In the new work, scientists have focused their attention on finding climate associations between large fires that break out around the same time around the world. It turned out that the pattern of change in sea surface temperature near the equator in the Atlantic Ocean corresponded in time to about 25 percent of global fires. According to the authors, this mechanism is one of the most powerful sources of fires in the world.

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