Wildfires are expected to become more severe and common around the world due to global warming, and a new study shows that a third of a million people die annually from land fires, reports Kerry Sheridan at Agence France Presse. These wildfires, peat fires and controlled burns were centered in sub-Saharan Africa, accounting for roughly half the deaths, and Southeast Asia, where over 100,000 deaths occurred. Recently published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, the study showed links between climate change and deaths. About twice as many people died during El Nino years, when the surface ocean temperature warms in the tropical eastern Pacific, as during cooler La Nina years. But fires will only get more severe in the future, according to Canadian government scientist Mike Flannigan, who has done research to model how severe fires will be by 2080, and found that fire activity is doubling and tripling globally. “It is the extreme weather that drives fire activity, and if we expect more extremes in the future, which we do, then it is only going to get worse,” he said.
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Wildfires kill 339,000 people per year: Study. Wildfires, peat fires and controlled burns on farming lands kill 339,000 people worldwide each year, said a study released on Saturday that is the first to estimate a death toll for landscape fires. The research also suggested a significant link between climate and fire mortality. Agence France-Presse http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5hG-rv-5cagugF69sZSG6QCz5ahOQ?docId=CNG.549911f9dd5fa042d6a25854ddc3b838.7b1