In 2023, more than half a million hectares of forest were destroyed by fires in the EU

In 2023, more than half a million hectares of forest were destroyed by fires in the EU

Elizaveta Volkotrub

The area of ​​burned areas is twice the area of ​​Luxembourg

In 2023, the wildfire season was one of the worst in Europe, and climate change could make this situation even worse.

This is reported by Die Zeit.

The European Commission's Joint Research Center (JRC) reported that the size of the burned areas is twice the size of Luxembourg, making last year one of the worst in the EU in terms of forest fires.

The largest outbreaks were recorded in 2017, when the fire covered almost a million hectares of forest. In 2022, this figure was more than 800 thousand hectares, and in 2007 – just under 600 thousand. It is noted that active fires are observed in the summer, especially in the Mediterranean.

According to the JRC, in 2023, forest fires caused significant environmental damage and caused CO₂ emissions of about 20 megatons. This amount corresponds to almost a third of all emissions from annual international air travel in the EU.

Scientists warn that climate change may contribute to an increase in the number of forest fires in the future. In the first few months of the current year, the number of fires has almost doubled, but the damage has turned out to be less than expected.

As Ecopolitika previously reported, some countries in Europe have been struggling with forest fires for several weeks, as record temperatures and a lack of rain have created conditions for large-scale fires across the continent.

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