EU Scientists Label Mediterranean ‘Wildfire Hotspot’ as Smoke and Ash Smother Southern Europe
Much of the Mediterranean region has become a wildfire hotspot as Turkey and Greece are being ravaged by the most intense blazes on record, said the EU scientists. Scientists have said that human-induced climate change is making heatwaves more frequent and more severe. The high and dry conditions have increased the danger of further fires.
The European Union’s Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Services (CAMS) labeled the Mediterranean a “wildfire hotspot” as massive fires engulfed forest in Turkey and Greece, which were fueled by a record-breaking heatwave.
Wildfires have been leaving a trail of death and destruction in countries in Southern Europe, including Turkey and Greece where thousands of people have been evacuated from their homes. The fires have erupted in many places as Southern Europe experiences an intense heatwave, which is producing a high risk of further fires and smoke pollution around the region.
CAMS monitors wildfires through satellites and ground-based surveillance reports. Its latest surveillance report said that the emissions and intensity of wildfires have increased in Turkey and Southern Italy, and are likely to get worse.
According to CAMS, thick smoke clouds from Southern Turkey’s fires were clearly visible in satellite images of the region, which contributed to high levels of particulate matter pollution over the entire Eastern Mediterranean area.
Many Mediterranean countries such as Italy, Albania, Morocco, Greece, North Macedonia and Lebanon have experienced wildfires since late July, while Algeria is facing freshly erupted blazes.
The European Commission said that it had helped mobilize firefighting aircraft, helicopters and firefighters to aid Italy, Greece, Albania and North Macedonia to tackle the fires.