31 May 2020

The Princess Bride as Prophecy

It turns out that as a result of anthropogenic climate change, the tundra is turning into a real-world version of the fire swamp.

There has been an upsurge in smoldering fires persisting through the winter to reemerge in the spring:
The bitterly cold Arctic winter typically snuffs out the seasonal wildfires that erupt in this region. But every once in a while, a wildfire comes along that refuses to die.

These blazes, known as “zombie fires” or “holdover fires,” can burrow into the rich organic material beneath the surface, such as the vast peatlands that ring the Arctic, and smolder under the snowpack throughout the frigid winter.

With the Siberian Arctic seeing record warm conditions in recent weeks and months, scientists monitoring Arctic wildfire trends are becoming more convinced that some of the blazes erupting in the Arctic this spring are actually left over from last summer.


The drying and burning of Arctic peatlands has major consequences for the planet as a whole. Northern peatlands contain more stored carbon than rainforests do, Waddington said. He compared fires that smolder during the winter without flames, only to reignite in the spring, to scenes from the fire swamp in the 1987 comedy “The Princess Bride,” which features bursts of flame emerging from underground.
(emphasis mine)

This would be cool, if it weren't presaging the destruction of the world.


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