5-speed listening (Arctic Wildfires - Level 2)

Arctic wildfires visible from space






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There are hundreds of wildfires all across the Arctic Circle. The smoke from them can be seen from space. The Arctic is warming twice as fast as anywhere else on Earth. The Arctic is having its hottest June ever. It is also having its worst wildfire season on record. There are huge fires covering large areas of Greenland, Siberia, Scandinavia and Alaska. In Alaska, there are 400 fires burning out of control. The vast Greenland ice sheet has started melting a month earlier than usual. The World Meteorological Organization called the Arctic fires "unprecedented".

Scientists say the fires and smoke could affect global warming. A meteorologist explained what is causing the fires. He said: "Temperatures in the Arctic have been increasing at a much faster rate than the global average, and warmer conditions encourage fires to grow and persist once they have been ignited." Dry ground, lightning and strong winds have caused the fires to spread. The flames have set fire to methane below the ice. This is releasing huge amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. The fires have destroyed habitat and killed uncountable numbers of animals.

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