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How megafires are remaking the world

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on The New York Times or enjoy below

🗞️ Driving the news: While fires have been a natural planetary occurrence for millions of years, their increased frequency and intensity have raised concerns among scientists, especially in the aftermath of Canada’s summer of wildfires
• On Aug. 15, a seemingly modest fire erupted in the hills above West Kelowna, British Columbia, turning into a raging inferno due to the parched landscape and fierce winds and leading to concerns about both human safety and wildlife

🔭 The context: Megafires, which are far more expansive than typical wildfires, can cause immediate ecological damage and have long-term impacts on the ecosystems and species that inhabit them
• Scientists believe that the increasing intensity of such fires is outstripping nature's ability to recover

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: Such "megafires" not only have immediate ecological consequences but, in the longer term, could also drive some species to extinction, alter landscapes, and profoundly change ecosystems

⏭️ What's next: There's a need for comprehensive strategies to mitigate the impacts of these fires and to help ecosystems recover
• There are also growing calls for better infrastructure and tools to protect residents from the immediate impacts of fires, including smoke inhalation

💬 One quote: “Right now, everybody is talking about fires and smoke and who dies, because of the immediacy of this fire year. But really, truly, the long-term consequences are much more severe and sustained,” (Karen Hodges, University of British Columbia)

📈 One stat: The risk of catastrophic fires could increase by more than 50 percent by the end of the century, as reported by the United Nations

Click for more news covering the latest on climate change

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