In the summer of 2023, vast areas of Canada’s forests were on fire. Many of these fires were ignited by lightning.
In the summer of 2023, vast areas of Canada’s forests were on fire. Many of these fires were ignited by lightning. In a new global study, researchers now reveal that this was not a coincidence as they uncovered insights into the growing danger posed by lightning-induced fires to temperate and boreal forests. The study shows that most fires in these forests are caused by lightning strikes and that lightning will likely increase in these regions with climate change.
Researchers at VU Amsterdam, together with colleagues from the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and China, found that most fires are lit by humans, for example in tropical savanna regions and Europe. However, lightning fires clearly dominate the more remote temperate and boreal forests. Until now, we did not know where in the world people or lightning are the predominant ignition source for wildfires. The study is the first to provide a global map of the distribution of human and lightning fires on Earth. The findings are published in the journal Nature Geoscience.
Read more at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
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