Earth’s climate is changing and summers in many places are getting warmer and longer. If you live in a relatively cold region, such as Canada, warmer summers might not sound too bad. Yet a closer look into the long-term effects would surely give you the chills.
In this study, we focused on one of these effects: increases in the area burned by wildfires and the cost of fighting them. We examined historical data and used models to predict future costs. Our calculations revealed some eye-opening news. If greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere continue to rise, then many Canadian provinces could experience extreme fire years more often than ever. Consequently, Canadians may be spending a whopping $1.4 billion annually (a 119% increase) by the end of the century to fight those fires. This does not even include human health evacuation costs or insurance payouts.