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Expand chart
Data: CAMS/Mark Parrington; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

Wildfires are raging in Canada, the U.S. and Siberia, emitting carbon dioxide, soot, and other planet-warming pollutants, while also destroying homes and fouling air quality. Now new data shows just how large the fires' carbon footprint may be.

Why it matters: The wildfires in these three regions are likely to continue to burn until the onset of winter snows (some could persist through the winter as zombie fires).

  • Until then, they will continue to emit greenhouse gases. The Siberian fires alone are emitting as much as individual countries do in a year, according to data from the Copernicus Atmospheric Monitoring Service (CAMS).

By the numbers: According to Mark Parrington, a senior scientist at CAMS, the two Canadian provinces contributing the most fire-related carbon dioxide emissions are British Columbia and Saskatchewan, while the Sakha Republic and Far Eastern Federal District of Russia are emitting the greatest amounts in Russia.

  • So far, the Siberian fires have emitted total emissions of about 1613.00 megatonnes of CO2 equivalent gases, which is on par with Indonesia's annual emissions in 2019, per numbers from The Rhodium Group.
  • It's also higher than emissions last year from Siberian fires, which was also an unusually severe fire season.
  • Smoke from the Siberian fires has crossed the Arctic over the North Pole and into Canada.

Go deeper

Future of megacities "hang in the balance" as diplomats prepare for COP26

Still images from an interactive slider comparing Washington Nationals Stadium's future with steep emissions cuts with our current carbon path. Courtesy: Climate Central

Nations’ follow through — or lack thereof — on pledges made at the looming UN climate summit will help determine the long-term fate of tens of millions of people living in coastal megacities threatened by rising seas.

Why it matters: The delayed response of the climate system, with seas that warm and expand slowly and ice sheets that can take centuries to reach equilibrium — long after air temperatures have leveled off, means the stakes of COP26, and government decisions in coming years, are extraordinarily high.

Updated 2 mins ago - World

Up to 17 U.S. missionaries kidnapped in Haiti

Haitian soldiers guard the public prosecutor's office in Port-au-Prince earlier this month. Photo: Richard Pierrin/AFP via Getty Images

Children were among up to 17 American Christian missionaries and their relatives kidnapped by a gang in Haiti on Saturday, the New York Times first reported.

Details: The missionaries had just left an orphanage and were traveling by bus to the airport to "drop off some members" when the gang abducted them in Port-au-Prince, Haitian security officials said, per the NYT.

37 mins ago - World

Melbourne, "world's most locked-down city," to lift stay-at-home orders

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews during a news conference in Melbourne, Australia, on Sunday. Photo: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

Melbourne's stay-at-home orders will end five days earlier than planned, officials in Australia's second-biggest city announced Sunday.

Why it matters: The capital of the state of Victoria has had six lockdowns totaling 262 days since March last year. That means Melbourne's spent longer under lockdowns than "any other city in the world" during the pandemic, Reuters notes.

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