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Vicious cycle: climate change, Aussie fires

flamesScientists have long warned that accelerating climate change could lead to more wildfires around the globe, and that those wildfires would release more carbon dioxide … which would accelerate climate change. And that appears to be the case in Australia, where recent fires have — according to Reuters’ Planet Ark — released “millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide.”

In fact, the volume of carbon dioxide generated by wildfires would likely — if they were included — cause Australia to exceed the emissions limits set by the Kyoto Protocol.

In 2003, for example, Australian wildfires were responsible for some 190 million tonnes of greenhouse gases. That’s nearly one-third of what the nation generates from all other sources, according to Planet Ark.

Those numbers are actually leading Australia to seek a change in current standards so that only emissions that “can be practicably influenced” are included in the country’s greenhouse gas limits.

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