Greek Wildfires, Visible From Space, Shatter Records

Greek Wildfires, Visible From Space, ShatterRecords

29 August 2007

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Greece — In Greece, the fires are dying down, the blame game is heating upand data is beginning to show how immense the burns really were.

Satellite sensors detected far more fire-generated “hot spots” in southern European countries in August than they have even during previous spikes in fire activity over the past 10 years, according to this European Space Agency graphic.

According to data released today by the European Space Agency, Greece “has experienced more wildfire activity this August than other European countries have over the last decade.” August was also the worst month for fires in Greece in the past 10 years by a factor of four, the statistics showed.

And you can track them, too, by visiting this site and clicking on one of the maps of global hot spots.

What’s the point of counting the fires in Europe? The agency said that the work “is important for the ongoing study of climate.” All that burning flora, you see, “has a significant impact on global atmospheric pollution,” including release of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide that are implicated to global climate change.

Surely that is a matter for Greece to consider at some later date. Right now, there’s a big recovery effort to get in gear, as thousands of people have been left without homes and many more are seeking 3,000-euro relief checks at the nearest bank.

And there remains the threat of more fires in the next few days, a Greek fireofficial fears. Another major heat wave is expected this weekend, making naturaland human-ignited blazes all the more likely.

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