Epicentre of major Amazon droughts and fires saw 2.5 billion trees and vines killed

Wildfires rage across Yakutia, Siberia, threatening a power plant and disrupting transport

Russian planes seeded clouds to bring down rain on huge fires raging in the Siberian region of Yakutia, that in one place spread dangerously close to a hydroelectric power plant.

Officials told people to stay indoors and to keep windows shut due to the smoke at the weekend.

The regional capital Yakutsk, one of the coldest cities on the planet, was forced to suspend flights at its airport due to bad visibility, and transport on the river Lena that carves through Siberia was also interrupted…

Wildfires in Siberia have burned down an area larger than Greece

Image: The Greenpeace Russia team has documented forest fires in the Krasnoyarsk region.JULIA PETRENKO / GREENPEACE

Epicentre of major Amazon droughts and fires saw 2.5 billion trees and vines killed

A major drought and forest fires in the Amazon rainforest killed billions of trees and plants and turned one of the world’s largest carbon sinks into one of its biggest polluters.

After three years, only around a third (37%) of the emissions were re-absorbed by plant growth in the forest. This shows that the Amazon’s vital function as a carbon sink can be hampered for years following these drought events.

Triggered by the 2015-16 El Niño, extreme drought and associated mega-wildfires caused the death of around 2.5 billion trees and plants and emitted 495 million tons of CO2 from an area that makes up just 1.2 percent of the entire Brazilian Amazon rainforest, and 1 percent of the whole biome.

The stark findings, discovered by an international team of scientists working for more than eight years on a long-term study in the Amazon before, during and after the El Niño, have significant implications for global efforts to control the atmospheric carbon balance.

In normal circumstances, because of high moisture levels, the Amazon rainforest does not burn. However, extreme drought makes the forest temporarily flammable. Fires started by farmers can escape their land and trigger forest fires…

Building climate-resilient health systems in Cambodia

Climate change is already being felt in Cambodia. Average temperature and the intensity and frequency of extreme weather events, such as floods, droughts and heatwaves, have all gone up, and this has had important consequences for the health and development status of the country. The impacts of climate change amplify existing vulnerabilities in communities, including poverty, food insecurity and poor health status.

Growing health risks from climate change in Cambodia include vector-borne diseases, malnutrition and diarrhoeal diseases, along with other conditions such as rodent-borne diseases, respiratory tract infections, noncommunicable diseases, heat-related illness and mental health impacts…

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