Dormant fires scattered across the Arctic region – remnants of record blazes last year – may be coming to life after an unusually warm and dry Spring.
The hotspots, which have yet to be confirmed by ground measurements, are particularly concentrated in areas that burned last summer.
The year 2019 was marked by fires unprecedented in scale and duration across Siberia and Alaska, estimated to have released 50 million tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere.
The risk of wildfires increases with hot weather and low humidity.
Holdover fires, as they are called, are fires that continue to burn underground and then reignite on the
Since 2005, scientists on the ground in Alaska have identified 39 such “holdover fires” and matching their observations with satellite data, they found that most of the fires were too small – less than 11 hectares, and in most cases less than one – to be detected. But seven of them were visible from space.