EGU21-13273, updated on 04 Mar 2021
EGU General Assembly 2021
© Author(s) 2021. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Monitoring Arctic and high-latitude wildfires in 2019 and 2020

Mark Parrington1, Jessica McCarty2, Thomas Smith3, Merritt Turetsky4, Francesca Di Giuseppe1, Claudia Vitolo1, Sebastien Garrigues1, Melanie Ades1, Anna Agusti-Panareda1, Jerome Barre1, Richard Engelen1, Johannes Flemming1, Antje Inness1, Zak Kipling1, Vincent-Henri Peuch1, Martin Wooster5, Tianran Zhang5, Mark De Jong5, and Freja Vamborg1
Mark Parrington et al.
  • 1ECMWF, Reading, United Kingdom of Great Britain – England, Scotland, Wales (
  • 2Department of Geography, Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, USA
  • 3Department of Geography and Environment, London School of Economics, London, UK
  • 4Ecology and Evolutionary Biology/INSTAAR, University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder, Colorado, USA
  • 5Department of Geography, King's College London, London, UK

The boreal summers of 2019 and 2020 were witness to extensive high northern latitude wildfire activity, most notably within the Arctic Circle across eastern Russia. Near-real-time monitoring of the wildfire activity, based on satellite observations of active fires, showed widespread and persistent fires at a scale that had not been observed in the previous years that satellite observations are available. The European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) through its operation of, and contribution to, different Copernicus Services is in a unique position to provide detailed information to monitor high-latitude wildfire activity, including their evolution and potential impacts, when they occur. Fire weather forecasts from the Copernicus Emergency Management Service (CEMS), and surface climate anomalies from the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) both provide context to the environmental conditions required for wildfires to persist. Analyses based on observations of fire radiative power, along with analyses and forecasts of associated atmospheric pollutants, from the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS) aid in quantifying the scale and intensity in near-real-time and the subsequent atmospheric impacts. We present an analysis of Arctic and high northern latitude wildfires during the summers of 2019 and 2020, reviewing the underlying meteorological/climatological conditions, the estimated emissions and transport of smoke constituents over the Arctic Ocean. We will show that the different datasets, while being relatively independent, show a strong correspondence and provide a wealth of information required to monitor and provide context for wildfire activity.

How to cite: Parrington, M., McCarty, J., Smith, T., Turetsky, M., Di Giuseppe, F., Vitolo, C., Garrigues, S., Ades, M., Agusti-Panareda, A., Barre, J., Engelen, R., Flemming, J., Inness, A., Kipling, Z., Peuch, V.-H., Wooster, M., Zhang, T., De Jong, M., and Vamborg, F.: Monitoring Arctic and high-latitude wildfires in 2019 and 2020, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-13273,, 2021.

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