Tag: fires

Leading forestry scientists weigh in on what’s causing the fires, what the reported numbers mean, and what we can do to prevent such crises in the future.

Scientists make call-to-action for a fire-smart future

Of the 50 billion tonnes of greenhouse gases added to the atmosphere each year, about 2 billion tonnes (4%) come from wildfires. Warmer temperatures, driven by El Niño, can drive emissions even higher. Emissions from last year’s Indonesian fires alone were estimated to be 1.78 billion tonnes and, in 1997, 4.2 billion tonnes. Getting wildfire […]

Last year, fires burned 2 million hectares of peatlands in Indonesia, creating an acrid haze that affected several neighbouring Southeast Asian countries. As nations met in Paris late last year to agree a deal to limit global greenhouse gas emissions, the huge carbon pool stored in the peatlands was going up in smoke at an […]

As world leaders meet in Paris to tackle carbon emissions, here in the Amazon we are watching forests burning unchecked, releasing carbon into the atmosphere, destroying sensitive ecosystems and making breathing difficult. There are forests fires in the Amazon every year, but 2015 is exceptional. We’ve been investigating the issue in the rainforest around Santarém, […]

This past autumn, I saw a shocking headline: Forest fires in Indonesia were creating as many greenhouse gas emissions as the entire United States economy. Between June and October 2015, an estimated 2.6 million hectares—or 4.5 times the size of Bali— burned to clear land for production of palm oil, the world’s highest value non-timber […]

More than 100,000 fires ravaged the Indonesian islands of Sumatra and Kalimantan throughout September and October 2015, producing a noxious haze that affected tens of thousands of people. Seasonal rains began in November, but 2015/16 are El Nino years, so the threat of new fires is far from over. The problem is complex but it can […]

In Indonesia’s Central Kalimantan province, the peat areas are burning and emitting a toxic smoke causing untold damage to the environment, wildlife and human health. Most of the fires in Central Kalimantan are blazing in former peatland forests, which have been drained, cleared and burned for oil palm and agriculture, large and small. The dried-out […]

The fires raging across Indonesia, and the hazardous smoke they create, are causing even greater damage to the environment, wildlife and communities than first imagined. While much of the recent focus has been on Sumatra—and the spillover into Singapore and Malaysia—the province of Central Kalimantan, on the island of Borneo, faces a greater crisis. Once […]