Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette

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Smoking Globe

Bushfire smoke has now circumnavigated the globe to cross over its origin. But this was the part that really disturbed me:

“If it becomes constant ... then we do have really significant problems," Flannigan said. "But that's unlikely.”

Yeah, no. It's beyond likely; it's all but guaranteed.  In an overheating world, giant wildfires will become the norm.  This will continue until the Earth's biomass in flammable regions (which are expanding) has been knocked down below what will support wildfires.  So whatever problems we see now, get used to them, because they're only going to get worse.  This is the least bad problem we will have from global smoke for the foreseeable future.

And yes, it's possible for fires to rage all over to the point that people simply stop paying attention to them.  That's Alaska.  When we did the Itadesh Fire thread in Torn World, many of us objected on the grounds that people would have known to get out of the way, since they knew about the fire.  But our host explained that Alaska always  has multiple fires during fire season, and then proceeded to count the ones she could see out her window.  People just ignore those; they have to; you can't really run when fires are ubiquitous.  Itadesh got overrun because one of the nearby fires suddenly switched direction and moved much faster.  That's exactly the kind of fatality we'll see more of in years to come.
Tags: environment, nature, news, safety, science
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