Worst Evah!

Well, yes:

Russia has endured its worst forest fire season in the country’s modern history, according to recent data from the Russian Forestry Agency analysed by Greenpeace.

Fires have destroyed more than 18.16m hectares of Russian forest in 2021, setting an absolute record since the country began monitoring forest fires using satellites in 2001. The previous record was set in 2012, when fires covered 18.11m hectares of forest.

Worst in 20 years doesn’t sound so bad. Ever so slightly greater than 10 years ago sounds even less horrific. And forest fires didn’t start in 2001 either – I’ve been in Moscow when those clouds of smoke roll in before that date.

11 thoughts on “Worst Evah!”

  1. Saw an interesting documentary on Youtube about the likely impact on Russia of serious global warming. For the vast desolate north it looks like a significant improvement in livability and, crucially, a significant increase in the primary productivity of the taiga and boreal forests – both warmth and CO2 driven. The temperate zone effectively moving north. Actually the world has a lot MORE forest cover now than it did a decade ago. I am not surprised at all that there are more forest fires in Russia. There are more forests to burn.

  2. Greenpeace, Guardian..CLIMATE!! CO2!! Gigajottatonnes of it!!!

    Which then passes over the rest of Siberia, then Alaska, then Canada where it gets happily slurped up by the Green Stuff there…
    So..Umm… Where’s the problem?

  3. How far back do they have data for?
    In the US, it is over 120 years, which shows there was far more burn acreage in the US prior to 1980, but that doesn’t fit the narrative so is ignored.

    Likewise satellite data re: temperatures. If they have data going back to 1972 (which they do), but start their graph in 1979 (which they do), there is only one reason – they are lying.

    Now then, how many times do these people have to lie to you before the light goes on?

  4. “For the past several years, when the area of the fires has surpassed 15m hectares, it has become, in all likelihood, the new normal in the conditions of the new climate reality,” said Greenpeace Russia. Or, perhaps, this is just the old normal, but they weren’t paying attention before.

    Surprised the Guardian didn’t think to inform us in a breathless, hysterical tone, that this is “an area larger than the whole of England” rather than by reference to the size of Italy or Poland. By reference to the size of Russia, the 30 million hectares (bound to be an exaggerated estimate) of total fires is only about 2% of its area.

  5. The sun shines. Rain falls. Things grow. Repeat. Repeat. The combustible fuel load builds and builds. Hot summer. Lightning. Fire. Fuel load back down again. Start all over. It is Mother Nature in action. Forest fires are a good and necessary part of nature. The ecomentalist crazies believe that we can and should bemoan this. Fuckwits. If eg California, Greece, Australia don’t want devastating life threatening massive fires they need to do something about the build up of fuel loads. Controlled burning gets my vote.

  6. Yeah Patrick. We’ll see if this coming summer is better than the last one.

    But despite the burn-off last year, I’m not holding my breath.

  7. You can estimate forest fires incidence by looking at tree rings in some cases, I was in a small museum in western Canada a few years back that had an old growth section that included commentary that it showed forest fires were more common before the Europeans showed up and that was due to cutting back and managing the forests. Wouldn’t be at all surprised if that’s been disappeared since.
    Also worth bearing in mind that burning back and controlling forests goes way back it’s something mankind have been doing since before recorded history.

  8. Bloke in North Korea (Germany province)

    In my sadder moments I peruse Google Earth. Many years ago you could see vast swathes of eastern Russia on fire and huge plumes of smoke stretching dozens, maybe hundreds of kilometres. You didn’t have to look very hard for it.

    I can’t find any now. It’s almost as if someone doesn’t want you to see what is always there, to make you think it is unusual.

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