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Fires in Alaska

26 July 2019

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Record heat in Alaska

Alaska's temperature has risen by four degrees Fahrenheit in the last 50 years, compared with a two degree increase on a global scale.

Arctic Circle wildfires have been persistently greater than the 2003-2018 average throughout July, and have moved across the Brooks Range and onto the North slope.

Approximately 2 million acres are estimated to have burned in Alaska as of 24 July. According to the European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecast (ECMWF), around 100 megatons of CO2 were emitted between 1 June and 21 July - nearly as much as the CO2 emissions of Belgium as a whole in 2017.

Alongside forest fires, peatland areas (which can burn for many weeks) may also have been affected for the first time.

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© ESA-BELSPO 2019, produced by VITO
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