BEIJING, April 20, 2018 -- Chinese scientists have found that recent ice core samples can be used to identify the causes of increased wildfires in the Himalayas and surrounding regions.
The scientists detected levoglucosan, a specific biomarker for fire emissions, in ice core records in the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, which indicates a rapid increase in wildfires in the Himalayas and surrounding regions since the beginning of the 21st century, according to the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
The increasing wildfires were caused by precipitation changes over the source regions, said You Chao, a research assistant at the Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research of the CAS.
The precipitation changes modulated the annual variability of wildfire in regions around the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. The decreased pre-monsoon (from March to May) precipitation has prolonged the dry seasons across the regions along the Himalayas affected by the Indian summer monsoon.
These trends have induced increased frequencies of strong wildfires in the Himalayas and surrounding regions.
Increasing strong wildfire events can potentially enhance black carbon deposits on the Himalayan glacier, according to You.