Saturday, April 19, 2008

Mediterranean forest fires set to become 'norm': green group

Terra Daily, via Agence France-Presse: Greece's lethal forest fires of last year are set to become the norm across the Mediterranean thanks to climate change, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) warned Thursday. Nearly 70 people were killed and 150,000 hectares (370,000 acres) of forest burnt to the ground in last August's fires, which were exacerbated by failings in the Greek firefighting emergency services.

"The most immediate and obvious repercussion of climate change for the Mediterranean forests is an increase in fires, which will also become more intense and widespread," a regional official from the WWF, Nora Berahmouni, said at an Athens conference. The meeting of more than 30 experts on the subject agreed unanimously that higher temperatures, prolonged droughts and fierce storms would leave the forests more combustible.

The island of Zakynthos ablaze, shot by Carl Osbourn, Wikimedia Commons, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 License

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