Siberia’s massive wildfires are unlocking extreme carbon pollution


The North American West isn’t the only place that’s burning this summer. Thousands of miles away in Siberia, hot, dry weather has helped fuel widespread forest fires that are releasing giant plumes of smoke and hundreds of millions of tons of heat-trapping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

Residents of the region, many of them farmers, have been fighting the unprecedented fires themselves, even as they attempt to harvest what they can before wildfire consumes their crops.

Siberia may be better known for its frigid winters, but it’s no stranger to summer wildfires. And for the past few summers, those fires have been exceptional, particularly in the Sakha Republic, a region of far northeastern Russia nearly double the size of Alaska. In 2020, Sakhan wildfires were more intense, and released more carbon between June and August, than at any other point in satellite records going back to 2003.

Read More

National Geographic, 20 August 2021