Wildfires are scorching Siberia • Earth.com

Wildfires are scorching Siberia Today’s Image of the Day from NASA Earth Observatory shows a massive amount of wildfire smoke hovering over Siberia, one of the coldest regions of the planet.

Hundreds of intense wildfires have broken out in northeastern Russia after record-breaking heat and drought conditions. Siberia is an extensive geographical region in North Asia. It has been a part of Russia since the latter half of the 16th century, after the Russians conquered lands east of the Ural Mountains. Siberia is vast and sparse, and covers an area of over 13.1 million square kilometres (5,100,000 sq mi), but is home to merely one-fifths of Russia’s entire population. Novosibirsk and Omsk are the largest cities in the region. Because Siberia is a geographic and historic region and not a political entity, there is no single precise definition of its territorial borders.

Wildfires are scorching Siberia The Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on Suomi NPP captured this image of the Republic of Sakha in northeastern Siberia. According to Sakha’s emergencies ministry, more than 250 fires were burning across roughly 2,210 square miles on July 5, 2021.

This is the second summer in a row that Siberia has experienced devastating heat and wildfires in the month of July.

A recent study found that prolonged heat waves in this region have been primarily driven by human-induced climate change.

According to NASA, regional authorities have been extinguishing dozens of fires per day, but report that they will likely be battling large fires for weeks. 

Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory 

By Chrissy Sexton, Earth.com Staff Writer

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