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The natural world. Looking pretty for 3.5b years.

Indonesia's Forest Fires

Author: Hugh Bollinger/Thursday, October 8, 2015/Categories: wildlife conservation, video, sustainability, environment, climate change

Forest fires from Indonesia continue producing pollution that has blanketed regions of Southeast Asia.The fires are the result of illegal logging, deforestation for palm oil plantations, and official corruption. The resulting air pollution now covers much of Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, and elsewhere. The environmental organization, Greenpeace International  has produced a video of the fires and their consequences. According to the Greenpeace  announcement :

the fires will likely release far more carbon dioxide this year than the UK
because Indonesia's peat lands are now burning. The peat bogs represent a reserve of 60 gigatons of carbon... six times greater than annual global fossil fuel emissions.The last time Indonesia's fires were this bad, they produced the equivalent of 13-40% of global carbon emissions from fossil fuels.

Fires in peat---a mixture of partly decayed plant material and soil formed in wetlands of Borneo and Sumatra---are hard to control once started. They can smolder underground only to re-ignite at a later date releasing even more pollution into the atmosphere. The fires are being aggravated by the current el nino conditions in the oceans that dries out air. The fires and smoke are now so extensive they can be easily observed from space:

                   Fires and Smoke Blanket Indonesia and Southeast Asia, 9-27-15  (credit: NASA)

Greenpeace utilized a aerial drone equipped with a small video camera to capture the extent of the fires:

   Indonesian Forest and Peatland Fires, 10-7-15  (credit: Greenpeace)

Nations around the world will meet later this year to hopefully conclude a treaty to limit CO2 emissions that are responsible for climate change dynamics. Indonesia will attempt to convince the meeting that they are serious about their tropical forest situation.


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