Wildfire shifts could dump more ice-melting soot in Arctic | Science News

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Wildfire shifts could dump more ice-melting soot in Arctic

In some areas, black carbon emissions from blazes will double, simulations predict

By
6:00am, April 18, 2016
wildfire

FIRE STARTER  Wildfires will spew more soot into the air in many regions by the end of the century, new research predicts. That soot could darken Arctic ice and accelerate melting.

Raging wildfires could burn away efforts to reduce Arctic-damaging soot emissions. Soot produced by burning fossil fuels and plants, also called black carbon, can cause respiratory diseases and greenhouse warming, and can accelerate the melting of ice.

Rising temperatures and changing weather patterns will shift where and how fiercely wildfires burn and spew soot, new simulations show. Outside of the tropics, fire seasons will last on average one to three months longer during the 2090s than they do currently, researchers report online April 8 in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres. Soot emissions from wildfires will as much as double in regions that border the Arctic and counteract projected reductions in soot from human activities, the researchers predict.

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