‘Zombie Fires’ Are Being Fueled by Global Warming

Any rational individual will be frightened by the thought of a zombie uprising. However, now, scientists are discovering even more frightening and unsettling phenomena. What is this? Wildfires that come up from under the snow. A new research study has found that ‘zombie forest fires’ are being caused by global warming.

This phenomenon, which has been titled “climate bomb” by the researchers, is responsible for over 1/3 of burned trees. It’s caused by something called “overwintering,” where the smoldering of embers continues under the snow and then rises when spring arrives. The embers are left-overs from the fires that happened in the previous year and the study has revealed that the number of these kind of fires are steadily on the rise.

A Vrije University Earth scientist, Rebecca Scholten, said they expect climate change to cause more overwintering fires. Scientists have named these back-from-the-dead blazes “zombie fires” because most of them are incredibly hard to put out, even in the wintry, harsh conditions in places like Siberia and Alaska.

How do these zombie fires come to life? 

The decomposed spruce needles and carbon-rich peat smoke and glow at least 4-inches underground. This gives the fire the ability to survive freezing temperatures, rain, and snow before it springs back to life during the spring or when the weather gets better.

This is a process that sparks major forest and grass fires during summertime and springtime. Firefighters fought with one such fire last year in a Siberian wildlife reserve that blazed and raged on for months. In addition, high-latitude areas that have boreal forests contain higher carbon dioxide concentrations. As a result, they let out huge amounts of greenhouse gases as they burn. As a result, CO2 emissions help make the planet hotter, which, in turn, is what’s responsible for the higher frequency and severity of the climate crisis we’re experiencing today.

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