Immediate actions are needed to limit the greenhouse gas emissions that are driving climate change that helps fuel wildfires, a Monash University study says.
A special report published in the New England Journal of Medicine, led by Professor Yuming Guo and Dr Shanshan Li from the Monash School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, summarises the enormous impacts of climate change on wildfire seasons and the sequential increased morbidity, mortality, and mental health impacts.
The report, which analysed numerous studies on wildfires over the past 20 years, says global climate change is fueling the three essential conditions for wildfires – fuel, oxygen and an ignition source. The world is seeing inconsistent rainfall, increased drought and hotter temperatures, leading to more flammable vegetation.
It says the global mean carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from wildfires accounted for about 22 per cent of the carbon emission from burning fossil fuels between 1997-2016. The