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Tuesday 20th March 2018

Indonesia Wildfires Surge, Stirring Global Warming Fears


7Dnews London

Thu, 12 Sep 2019 10:33 GMT

Satellite data has shown on Thursday September 12th that the blazes in Indonesia's rainforests are spreading widely and quickly, raising more concerns about the impact of wildfire outbreaks worldwide on global warming, AFP has reported.

Illegal blazes to clear land for agricultural plantations have been raging on Sumatra and Borneo islands, which urged Indonesia to use water-bombing helicopters and thousands of security forces to put them out.

Indonesia's forest fires are an annual problem but have been worsened this year by particularly dry weather, and in recent days sent toxic smog floating over Malaysia as Borneo is shared between Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei.

According to the Singapore-based ASEAN Specialised Meteorological Centre, the number of "hotspots", areas of intense heat detected by satellite which indicate a high chance of fire, jumped sharply in Indonesia on Wednesday, with 1,619 hotspots detected on the Indonesian part of Borneo and Sumatra up from 861 a day earlier.

"There has been little rain in the past fortnight, particularly on Indonesian Borneo which saw the sharpest increase in hotspots," Kiki Taufik, a forests campaigner with Greenpeace in Indonesia, told AFP.

Taufik warned Indonesia's fires would add to the sprawling archipelago's climate-damaging emissions, already among the highest in the world, because of the Amazon wildfires.

In 2015 Indonesia suffered its worst forest fires for almost two decades, which dramatically increased its greenhouse gas emissions.