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WORST 2019 - The 2019 United Kingdom wildfires are a series of wildfires which began on 26 February 2019, with the most recent fires occurring on 23 April 2019. These series of fires are most remarkable because they are happening at such an early date in the year. To add to this, these lands were already damaged by wildfires that burnt for months during the summer of 2018. The fires have created many air pollution problems for the UK. The causes of most of the fires have been attributed to much higher than average temperatures and drought conditions that have prevailed since the spring of 2018. As of 23 April, the number of wildfires in the UK in 2019 is at 96. This beats the previous record of 79 from 2018.




NEW SCIENTIST 23 April 2019 - The UK has already had more wildfires in 2019 than any year on record

The UK has been hit by nearly a hundred large wildfires in 2019, making it the worst year on record already.


The hot spell in February and the recent Easter heatwave have contributed to a total of 96 major wildfires of 25 hectares or larger, eclipsing the previous high of 79 across the whole of 2018.
Researchers told New Scientist that the figures, collated by the European Forest Fire Information System, were evidence that climate change had already heightened the risk of wildfires in the UK.


More than 100 firefighters battled wildfires over the Easter weekend across Illkley Moor and Marsden Moor in West Yorkshire. Another fire broke out on moorland near Marsden on Tuesday afternoon, requiring ten fire engines to attend.





Fires throughout the year


There were also wildfires in Cornwall, Dorset, Derbyshire, Northern Ireland, the Peak District, Rotherham, Wiltshire and Wales, according to the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC).


Scotland was affected by fires across the Highlands, including a large one that posed a “serious risk” to the Moray windfarm.


The spate of blazes follows a series of major wildfires during the hot, dry weather of 2018, including the Saddleworth Moor fire near Manchester, which burned for five days and made pollution levels spike.
Paul Hedley, national wildfires lead for the NFCC, said it was “really significant” that the number of large wildfires in 2019 had already overtaken 2018’s tally so early in the year.


The big change he has observed is that the wildfires are no longer confined to the traditional season of fires from late March to late September. “What seemed to happen last year and is happening this year, is we are not talking about a wildfire season – we are getting significant wildfires happening throughout the year,” says Hedley.

The scale and duration of the wildfires was a huge stretch on fire and rescue service resources, Hedley adds.

Spring is the point in the year when flammability peaks, with the most dead leaf and woody matter available to burn, says Thomas Smith of the London School of Economics, in the UK.





Barbeques and arson


Layered on top of that seasonal risk has been fire-friendly weather and an increased risk of ignition through accidents, such as a barbeque in the case of the West Yorkshire blazes, or arson.


“Both the fires in February and over this Easter weekend coincided with long warm dry periods with steady easterly winds – fire weather – and also with ignition risk from school holidays,” says Smith.
Weather that is conducive to wildfires has become more likely in recent decades, with the average length of warm spells increasing from 5.3 to 13.2 days in recent years.


“I would argue that those statistics suggest that we are already experiencing climate change and that it has already led to increasing wildfire risk,” Smith adds. He says the past two years have been the worst for UK wildfires that he can remember.


The total area burned in 2019 so far is 17,199 hectares, almost on a par with the highs of 2018 and 2011, but with eight months of the year left to go.


The rural nature of most UK wildfires means relatively little property is damaged compared to the multibillion-dollar cost of Californian wildfires. But they draw fire engines away from towns and cities, increasing fire risk there, and can cause health problems by causing pollution levels to rise, as happened in Greater Manchester last year. By Adam Vaughan





BBC 17 DECEMBER 2018 - Moorland fires had 'shocking air quality impact'

The wildfires at Saddleworth Moor and Winter Hill are likely to have had a "shocking impact" on air quality, according to a new study.
The devastating blazes were battled by hundreds of firefighters and soldiers in June and July.


Researchers said the impact of the summer fires on public health in the region could be "considerable".
Evidence suggests "a significant negative effect on air quality" in Greater Manchester and beyond. 
The paper, which was published earlier, found that during the period of the fires, levels of "particulate matter" (particles in the atmosphere), linked to serious conditions such as asthma, lung cancer and infant mortality, were "extremely high".


When the fires were at their height, the legal limit for daily average exposure to particulate matter (50ppm) was breached on five occasions in different sites across Greater Manchester, the report by north of England think tank IPPR North says.


Monitoring stations also registered extremely high individual spikes in excess of 150ppm.
The Saddleworth blaze broke out on 24 June and about 100 soldiers were drafted in to help tackle it at its height. At its peak the fire covered an area of 7 sq miles (18 sq km) of moorland. Police are treating the blaze as arson after people were seen lighting a bonfire on the moors near Stalybridge.

Hundreds of firefighters also tackled the Winter Hill blaze, which broke out four days after the Saddleworth fire, and spread across 7 sq miles (18 sq km) of land. Two men have previously been arrested over the Winter Hill fire and both were released under investigation.


Report author and research fellow Jack Hunter said: "The impact of the fires at Winter Hill and Saddleworth Moor provide a timely reminder that we must not take the north's natural assets for granted. "If we don't value the natural environment properly, the consequences for people, the environment and the Northern Powerhouse economy can be disastrous."


Mr Hunter said policymakers "need to put the natural environment right at the heart of decisions" about the future of the north of England. Environmental concerns raised in the report follow previous research which found that Greater Manchester had "lethal and illegal" levels of NO2 air pollution.







FEBRUARY - February 2019 saw the highest winter temperature ever recorded in the United Kingdom, at 21.2 °C (70.2 °F) on the 26th in Kew Gardens, London. In addition to this, England, Scotland and Wales all broke their regional temperature records, with England and Wales exceeding 20.0 °C (68.0 °F) in winter for the first time.

Saddleworth Moor

On 26 February, a fire broke out on Saddleworth Moor. This fire burned for two days and was not treated as suspicious. The area burnt was not as large as the 2018 fires, only amounting to roughly 350 acres (142 ha). 40 firefighters had to tackle the blaze.

Arthur's Seat

The wildfire at Arthur's Seat, Edinburgh, broke out on 27 February, and was not as large as the fire at Saddleworth Moor. However, around 800 square metres (957 sq yd) were burnt. The fire lasted throughout the night, until 2:45 AM on the 28th. There were no reports of any injuries.

West Sussex

On 26 February, two separate blazes started in Ashdown Forest in Sussex, England, within one hour of each other. At least 65 firefighters were in attendance at both blazes, with a third fire breaking out after the second, just 2 miles (3 km) away. These were the first wildfires to occur in the region for 4 years. The fires destroyed 35 hectares (86 acres) of land. The fires were out by 1 March.


APRIL - A week-long warm spell around Easter sent temperatures up to 26 °C (79 °F) across parts of England. This, combined with drought conditions still prevailing, caused wildfires across many areas. This led to the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service to issue a warning for wildfires on 19 April.


Mid April

On Saturday 13 April at around 18:50, firefighters were called to Ballindalloch and Dalmellington. The blazes were both fully extinguished at around 15:20 on the 15th. In total, 35 firefighters were brought to fight the blaze, along with a helicopter, that was used to water-bomb the blaze. The fire is thought to have burnt around 5 miles (8.0 km) of land. The severity of the fire was made worse by the 'rough terrain', meaning it was virtually in an 'inaccessible location'.

Late April

A wildfire broke out in Knockando, Scotland on the 22nd around 3pm. It was described as 'one of the largest fires the UK has seen in years'. In the first day, the fire destroyed more than 25 square miles (16,000 acres). The blaze created a plume of smoke that could be seen from space. By the 25th, firefighters thought they had tackled most of the blaze and left the scene. However, they were called back on the 26th when it was reignited. This further fire destroyed 50 square kilometres (19 sq mi), as of the 29th. At its height, around 80 firefighters, two helicopters, 19 fire engines and specialist resources were called upon to help tackle the fire, which was on four fronts. At its height, around 80 firefighters, two helicopters, 19 fire engines and specialist resources were called upon to help tackle the fire, which was on four fronts.. Additionally, the fire caused several nearby properties to be evacuated. The fire was fully extinguished by 9 May. 



On 23 April, blazes spanning 7 miles (11 km) broke out on Dartmoor. Eight crews tackled the fire, with the first arriving around 18:20 on the 23rd. The fire was successfully extinguished by the 24th.

West Yorkshire

On 20 April, a fire broke out on Ilkley Moor, which was described as 'something out of a movie' by witnesses. The fire destroyed 50 acres of moorland. A fire also broke out on Marsden Moor. This fire destroyed at least 700 acres of land. However, it was extinguished the following day. In total, there has been 6 wildfire on these Moors since January.


MAY - On 13 May, a wildfire warning was issued for parts of Scotland as temperatures were expected to rise above average, combined with the long drought, creating perfect conditions for wildfires to occur. 


On Thursday 16 May a wildfire was spotted at Johnstripe near Dunphail, south of Forres in Moray, Scotland. This was the 3rd fire to affect the area since April. However, this fire was not as large, at first, burning only 1sq Mile on the first day. The blaze effected electricity supplies to residents. The blaze was attributed to a prolonged drought, accompanied by warmer than average temperatures. The blaze lasted for 4 days, as light rain fell on the area, helping to put the flames out.


A fire started between Melvich and Strathy in Sutherland on 12 May and was burning for 6 days until light rain fell, helping to extinguish flames. Residents described it as 'one of the worst fired they'd ever seen in the area'.







Firefighters from across the UK have been battling a string of wildfires after Britain saw its hottest winter day on record on Tuesday. The most recent blaze was whipped up on Saddleworth Moor, which witnesses described as "apocalyptic". Firefighters were called there just before 8pm on Tuesday after Britain enjoyed its third day of unseasonable sunshine. It continued to burn into Wednesday until firefighters eventually brought it under control around lunchtime, but it wasn't the only wildfire to hit the UK. 


Dramatic photographs showed a huge fire burning on Arthur's Seat in Edinburgh as crews battled to bring around 800m of gorse under control having been alerted at 6.30pm. Earlier in the afternoon, East Sussex Fire and Rescue had to extinguish two separate wildfires. The first, just before 3pm engulfed 35 hectares in Nutley, before another broke out around a mile away in Ashdown Forest. Britain saw its hottest winter day on record on Tuesday when the mercury hit 21.2C (69.4F) in Kew Gardens, London.

The fire near Marsden could be seen for miles around as crews from West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service battled to contain it through the night. Witnesses described the "terrible" scene of fire coming close to buildings high on the moorland. West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service said it had five fire engines and two specialist moorland firefighting units at the scene. They included engines from Marsden, Huddersfield and the Kirklees area.


Incident Commander Laura Boocock told the BBC it was "one of the biggest grass fires (she) has ever seen", but it was "nothing they can't handle". Witness Harry Broughton tweeted: "Never seen anything like this - had a drive up as these things look terrible. "High up on the Pennines between Saddleworth and Marsden on the Manchester/Yorkshire border, but close to houses including two pubs. Hope it is contained."





Britain's hottest winter day


The UK yesterday experienced its warmest winter day since records began for the second day running.
Records were broken in England and Wales, as temperatures edged above 21C (69.8F) and Britons continued to enjoy a spell of unseasonably mild weather. 


The 21C barrier was hit at Kew Gardens in west London in late afternoon after temperatures hit 20.8C (69.4F) in Porthmadog, Gwynedd, North Wales, at 1.22pm, the Met Office said. On Monday, the thermometer reached 20.6C (68.5F) at Trawsgoed in Ceredigion, West Wales, the highest recorded in February and beating the previous record of 19.7C (67.4F) in Greenwich, south-east London, in 1998.
Parts of Britain on Tuesday were hotter than a series of popular holiday destinations, beating Malibu, Athens and Barcelona. And reaching 21C, the temperature matched that of Cairo, Buenos Aires and Delhi. 

The warmth follows last February's Beast from the East, which plunged temperatures below freezing and brought heavy snowfall across the country. Cooler temperatures expected from Wednesday onwards will be "still above average" for February, Met Office meteorologist Luke Miall said. Heavy showers are possible on Thursday as temperatures struggle to get above 11C (51.8F) or 12C (53.6F). Friday, March 1, will mark the first day of meteorological spring and is expected to be mostly dry before a wet weekend.

Mr Miall added: "The weekend doesn't look great, it's looking wet and windy across the country.
"There's lots of uncertainty over the details because it's still a long way off but wet and windy seems to be the theme through many areas." Monday's record highs were likened to a "climate breakdown" by Green MP Caroline Lucas. Mr Miall said: "This kind of event is what climate change would expect but we can't directly relate it to climate change."





EVENING STANDARD UK HEATWAVE 26 JULY 2019: 'Record broken' for Britain's hottest ever day as Met Office says mercury hit 38.7C

A temperature of 38.7C was recorded in the UK on Thursday, appearing to break the record for the hottest ever day. The recording at Cambridge Botanic Gardens, which the Met Office says is provisional and requires verification, would outstrip the previous record high of 38.5C, recorded in 2003.

Forecasters previously confirmed Thursday was the hottest July day on record, with a temperature of 38.1C, also recorded in Cambridge, surpassing the previous high of 36.7C set at Heathrow Airport in 2015.

It was also the second hottest UK day on record, beating the 37.1C recorded in August 1990.

Dr Mark McCarthy from the National Climate Centre (NCIC) at the Met Office said: "As the official source of meteorological statistics for the UK, we take the quality of our recordings very seriously.

"We are talking about a potential new record for the highest temperature recorded in the UK and we therefore need to thoroughly investigate the observation with our partners from Cambridge University Botanic Garden through statistical analysis and by visiting, to check the site and equipment and ensure there are no potential problems."





The high temperatures were driven by hot air funneled from the south as western Europe was gripped by an extreme heatwave.

Also on Thursday, the mercury hit its highest ever level in Belgium (41.8C), Germany (41.5C) and the Netherlands (40.7C), in each case breaking a record that was only set on Wednesday. Paris saw a record high temperature of 42.6C.


Met Office experts say there is "no doubt" climate change is playing a role in driving the unprecedented temperature highs.

The soaring UK temperatures were followed by thunderstorms which swept across the country overnight. On Friday morning they were continuing to bring heavy rain, gusty winds and lightning to the south-east of England.

"The thunderstorms could continue on and off through the course of the day," Met Office meteorologist Greg Dewhurst said. "There is enough energy in the atmosphere to keep it going."


Temperatures will range from the mid-20s to the low 30s on Friday, Mr Dewhurst added.
The country will see more familiar conditions return over the weekend, with the weather becoming less settled and an increased chance of rain for many eastern and north-eastern areas. By Patrick Grafton-Green 















British Columbian

Canadian - Saskatchewan




Europe - Heatwave 17 July 2022










USA - California, Yosemite

       - Montana

       - Georgia

       - Sacramento

UK   - Saddleworth Moor

       - Moray

       - Dartmoor






Barcelona & Madrid, Spain

Bordeaux & Brest France

Brazil & Amazon rainforest
British Columbia on the 1st of July 2021

China, Beijing

India, Delhi

London had a similar experience in July 2022

Porto, Portugal

Tokyo & Osaka, Japan June 2022












Timber grown for wood is only good if part of a replanting scheme, with at least 2 trees planted for every one felled, though we would suggest up to 10 trees should be planted to offset the loss of carbon absorption during growth.


We need to plant more trees - a whole lot more trees, not clear them, and especially not waste timber that is a vital renewable resource for zero carbon house building. Forest fires that cause deforestation are raising the temperature of Planet Earth and there is no Planet B.







COP 1: Rome, Italy, 29 Sept to 10 Oct 1997

COP 9: Buenos Aires, Argentina, 21 Sept to 2 Oct 2009

COP 2: Dakar, Senegal, 30 Nov to 11 Dec 1998

COP 10: Changwon, South Korea, 10 to 20 Oct 2011

COP 3: Recife, Brazil, 15 to 26 Nov 1999

COP 11: Windhoek, Namibia, 16 to 27 Sept 2013

COP 4: Bonn, Germany, 11 to 22 Dec 2000

COP 12: Ankara, Turkey, 12 to 23 Oct 2015

COP 5: Geneva, Switzerland, 1 to 12 Oct 2001

COP 13: Ordos City, China, 6 to 16 Sept 2017

COP 6: Havana, Cuba, 25 August to 5 Sept 2003

COP 14: New Delhi, India, 2 to 13 Sept 2019

COP 7: Nairobi, Kenya, 17 to 28 Oct 2005

COP 15:  2020

COP 8: Madrid, Spain, 3 to 14 Sept 2007

COP 16:  2021




"Mmmm. Those crazy hippies might have a point. It is getting a little warmer than I'd Like."






2012 COP 18/CMP 8, DOHA, QATAR
2014 COP 20/CMP 10, LIMA, PERU
2015 COP 21/CMP 11, Paris, France
2016 COP 22/CMP 12/CMA 1, Marrakech, Morocco
2017 COP 23/CMP 13/CMA 2, Bonn, Germany
2018 COP 24/CMP 14/CMA 3, Katowice, Poland
2019 COP 25/CMP 15/CMA 4, Santiago, Chile

2020 COP 26/CMP 16/CMA 5, to be announced



An International Convention to outlaw the taking of life on earth by action or inaction


The time for negotiating deals is over. What we need is new law: THE PLANET EARTH ACT 2020 to be able to punish the culprits. Under this law it would be an offence to remain in office and fail to act positively to save the planet. It would also be a criminal offence to do nothing - or continue as if nothing was the matter.





COP 1: 1994 Nassau, Bahamas, Nov & Dec

COP 8: 2006 Curitiba, Brazil, 8 Mar

COP 2: 1995 Jakarta, Indonesia, Nov

COP 9: 2008 Bonn, Germany, May

COP 3: 1996 Buenos Aires, Argentina, Nov

COP 10: 2010 Nagoya, Japan, Oct

COP 4: 1998 Bratislava, Slovakia, May

COP 11: 2012 Hyderabad, India

EXCOP: 1999 Cartagena, Colombia, Feb

COP 12: 2014 Pyeongchang, Republic of Korea, Oct

COP 5: 2000 Nairobi, Kenya, May

COP 13: 2016 Cancun, Mexico, 2 to 17 Dec

COP 6: 2002 The Hague, Netherlands, April

COP 14: 2018 Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, 17 to 29 Nov

COP 7: 2004 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Feb

COP 15: 2020 Kunming, Yunnan, China







1. TRANSPORT: Phase out polluting vehicles. Governments aim to end the sale of new petrol, and diesel vehicles by 2040 but have no infrastructure plan to support such ambition. Such infrastructure should exceed the performance of fossil fuel filling stations, prolong EV battery life and provide power grids with a measure of load leveling. Any such system should seek to obviate the provision of millions of fast charge points where implementation could prove to be a logistical nightmare and an inefficient energy delivery system. This may involve international agreement as to energy storage format and statute to steer car makers to collaborate (in part) in a world of competition.


Marine transport can be carbon neutral given the right policies, with phased transition in specific stages such as not to unduly penalize present investment in LNG shipping and other recent MARPOL compliant IC powered vessels. Future cargo vessel should be at least in part powered by renewable energy, on the road to zero carbon via the development of shorter distance ferries and the like, making allowances for technology catch-up from 2030 with scrappage trade in on outdated ships and marine taxes on internal combustion engines.


Air travel powered by kerosene should attract hefty mitigation offset, where low carbon alternatives should be encouraged.


2. RENEWABLESRenewable energy should replace carbon-based fuels (coal, oil and gas) in our electricity for homes, factories, heating and transport. Coal and nuclear power plants should be phased out.


3. HOUSING: On site micro or macro generation is the best option, starting with new build homes that are both affordable and sustainable by design to replace crumbling housing stocks. Encourage building in timber to provide carbon lock from a renewable natural resource. Make sustainable housing a permitted development. Taking out the need to apply for planning permission, will cut out council blockers from the decision making process, to stamp out empire building agendas.


4. AGRICULTURE: We need to grow more trees to absorb carbon emissions from a growing population, air travel, and to build new homes. We should promote reductions in food waste and eating of foods that use less energy to produce. Educating children on these matters in schools and via campaigns such as no meat Mondays, should be part of ordinary study.


5. INDUSTRY: Factories should be aiming for solar heating and onsite renewable energy generation. EV parking and even service facilities should be part of new industrial estates as part of any building permissions.


6. POLITICS: - National governing bodies need to adopt rules to eliminate administrative wastages, to include scaling down spending on war machines, increasing spend on educating the public and supporting sustainable social policies that mesh with other cultures. This includes fostering policies and making funds available to close links in the technology chain to make up for lost time. Kleptocratic empire building must cease in the search for natural equilibrium.



California forest fires 2013


OXFORD UNIVERSITY - In view of the media focus on forest fires and their impacts, even in ‘the wrong countries’, a new systematic review of prescribed burning is timely. Prescribed burning, also known as controlled burning or planned burning, is used as an active management tool to enhance and maintain habitats for biodiversity outcomes. Prescribed burning is also commonly used for the purpose of mitigating wildfire risk by managing the accumulation of fuel in forests when and where necessary. The review was financed by the Mistra Council for Evidence-Based Environmental Management (EviEM). Following best practice for systematic review, searches generated a total of 12,971 unique records, which were filtered down to 235 articles. Most studied forests were located in the USA, with the rest located in Canada, Europe and Australia. Prescribed burning had significant positive effects on vascular plant richness, non-native vascular plant richness, and in broadleaf forests, herbaceous plant richness. Time since the burn, forest type and climate zone were significant moderators predicting the effect of burning on herbaceous plant richness. No other significant relationships were identified. It is noted that outcomes are difficult to predict, and any restoration project should include a component of monitoring to build a stronger evidence base for recommendations and guidelines on how to best achieve conservation targets. Prescribed burning may have harmful effects on taxa that are conservation-dependent and careful planning is needed.


Reference: Eales J, Haddaway NR, Bernes C, Cooke SJ, Jonsson BG, Kouki J, Petrokofsky G, Taylor JJ: What is the effect of prescribed burning in temperate and boreal forest on biodiversity, beyond pyrophilous and saproxylic species? A systematic review. Environmental Evidence 2018, 7(1):19. DOI:10.1186/s13750-018-0131-5.



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SOIL EROSION - The more land that we lose to grow crops the greater the food security issue. As the ice caps melt, desertification spreads to make Earth more uninhabitable.



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