Extreme conditions during this year's dry season are feeding fires in Indonesia. Dry peat additionally fuels the fires, which are also emitting enormous amounts of carbon dioxide and toxic gases.
Although peatlands make up a small amount of the world's land mass, they represent some of the largest carbon reservoirs on Earth. When drained or burned, they spew out massive greenhouse gas emissions.
Forest fires last year resulted in record tree loss around the globe – climate change and El Niño were major factors. This is bad news for the world's carbon sinks, since fires release CO2 into the atmosphere.
Southern Europe and western parts of Canada and the US have been devastated by wildfires this year. And they're not the only ones - it seems like much of the world is ablaze right now. And this could be the new normal.
Indonesia has regularly grabbed headlines with its forest fires that have caused health and environmental problems across Southeast Asia. Although the fires can be predicted, they haven't so far been prevented. Why?
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