The United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and the nonprofit GRID-Arendal have released a report, which warns of 57% increase in risk of cataclysmic wildfires by 2100. As The Japan Times has learned, the nations should invest more resources into reducing fire risks.
As the UN experts say in the recently-released report, more extreme weather means stronger, hotter, drier winds to fan the flame. These climate change accelerates more of the world will burn — with disastrous consequences for human health, the economy and biodiversity.
The report was released by the UNEP and GRID-Arendal on Wednesday. “Too often, our response is tardy, costly, and after the fact, with many countries suffering from a chronic lack of investment in planning and prevention.
“Wildfires need to be placed in the same category of global humanitarian response as major earthquakes and floods,” reports says.
As the experts say, over the past decade, the intensity and impact of wildfires has grown globally. California suffered a series of megafires in 2020 that burned through vast forests and suffocated cities with toxic smoke.
In 2020, the wildfires reached its peak. A particularly devastating year seemed to herald the arrival of an apocalyptic new era. But the most alarming sign is the fires broke out in the Arctic as a heat wave hit the region. “Wildfires may accelerate the positive feedback loop in the carbon cycle, making it more difficult to halt rising temperatures,” the UNEP report says.
To avoid the deterioration of the situation, the United Nations recommended the nations to invest more resources into reducing fire risks. Additionally, the communities should make more resilient to wildfires and the health effects of smoke. The recent report also called for incorporating indigenous fire improving practices and increasing international cooperation.