World Not Ready For Climate Change-fuelled Wildfires: Experts

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World not ready for climate change-fuelled wildfires: experts

Paris, (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 25th Jun, 2024) The world is unprepared for the increasing ferocity of wildfires turbocharged by climate change, scientists say, as blazes from North America to Europe greet the northern hemisphere summer in the hottest year on record.

Wildfires have already burned swathes through Turkey, Canada, Greece and the United States early this season as extreme heatwaves push temperatures to scorching highs.

While extra resources have been poured into improving firefighting in recent years, experts said the same was not true for planning and preparing for such disasters.

"We are still actually catching up with the situation," said Stefan Doerr, director of the Centre for Wildfire Research at the UK's Swansea University.

Predicting how bad any one blaze will be -- or where and when it will strike -- can be challenging, with many factors including local weather conditions playing into calculations.

But overall, wildfires are getting larger and burning more severely, said Doerr, who co-authored a recent paper examining the frequency and intensity of such extreme events.

A separate study published in June found the frequency and magnitude of extreme wildfires appeared to have doubled over the past 20 years.

By the end of the century, the number of extreme wildfires around the globe is tipped to rise 50 percent, according to a 2022 report by the UN Environment Programme.

Doerr said humanity had not yet faced up to this reality.

"We're clearly not well enough prepared for the situation that we're facing now," he said.

Climate change is a major driver, though other factors such as land use and the location of housing developments play a big part.