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The natural world. Looking pretty for 3.5b years.

Greenland on Fire....Again!

Greenland on Fire....Again!

Author: Hugh Bollinger/Monday, July 22, 2019/Categories: natural history, wildlife conservation, photography, space science, sustainability, environment, climate change

                              Sisimiut Region, Western Greenland 7-10-2019 (credit: Landsat-8 imager)

In July 2017, NASA's Landsat-8 satellite captured images of Greenland on fire. That fire burned more than 3000 acres of Arctic tundra on an island covered in ice. Almost to the day, another fire was observed by the remote sensing robot in the same region of NW Greenland again. According to NASA, the new fire appears near a trekker's hut on the Arctic Circle Trail and may have been started by accident. It is burning in an area of moss peatlands (fens) and shrubby heaths. Exceptionally dry weather helped the fire to expand. Meteorological data gathered by Danish researchers shows the region has recently been unusually hot and dry and was particularly warm the day the fire ignited.

 

                 Arctic air temperature map, 7-10-2019 (credit: NOAA-GOES satellite)

NOAA's new GOES Earth monitoring system measures air temperature, moisture, pressure, and wind speeds from multiple satellites, aircraft, and ground-based systems and combines them into regional maps. Anomalous temperatures (dark red) were measured in western Greenland on the day the fire broke out. They approached 68F (20C) when July temperatures in this Arctic region are normally 50F (10C). When the earlier Greenland fires happened, NPR aired an interview with a researcher who worked extensively on the glacier covered island. The connection of the fires to climate change was considered.

August could bring further high temperatures to Greenland.

WHB

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