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Here’s How Climate Change is Linked To Risk of Wildfires

At the global scale, burned area has decreased in recent decades, largely due to clearing of savannahs for agriculture and increased fire suppression

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Wildfires
Wildfires can't be prevented, and the risks are increasing because of climate change. This makes it urgent to consider ways of reducing the risks to people. Pixabay

Human-induced climate change has already increased the risk of wildfires globally, researchers say, adding that these wildfires will become more common in future.

In light of the Australian fires, researchers from the University of East Anglia, Met Office Hadley Centre, University of Exeter and Imperial College London have conducted a Rapid Response Review of 57 peer-reviewed papers published since the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report in 2013.

All the studies show links between climate change and increased frequency or severity of fire weather – periods with a high fire risk due to a combination of high temperatures, low humidity, low rainfall and often high winds – though some note anomalies in a few regions.

“Wildfires can’t be prevented, and the risks are increasing because of climate change. This makes it urgent to consider ways of reducing the risks to people,” said study researcher Iain Colin Prentice from Imperial College London.

Rising global temperatures, more frequent heatwaves and associated droughts in some regions increase the likelihood of wildfires by stimulating hot and dry conditions, promoting fire weather, which can be used as an overall measure of the impact of climate change on the risk of fires occurring.

Observational data, published on ScienceBrief, shows that fire weather seasons have lengthened across approximately 25 per cent of the Earth’s vegetated surface, resulting in about a 20 per cent an increase in global mean length of the fire weather season.

“Overall, the 57 papers reviewed clearly show human-induced warming has already led to a global increase in the frequency and severity of fire weather, increasing the risks of wildfire,” said study lead author Matthew Jones from the University of East Anglia.

“This has been seen in many regions, including the western US and Canada, southern Europe, Scandinavia and Amazonia. Human-induced warming is also increasing fire risks in other regions, including Siberia and Australia,” Jones added.

Wildfire, Forest, Fire, Blaze, Smoke, Trees, Heat
Human-induced climate change has already increased the risk of wildfires globally, researchers say, adding that these wildfires will become more common in future. Pixabay

“However, there is also evidence that humans have significant potential to control how this fire risk translates into fire activity, in particular through land management decisions and ignition sources,” Jones said.

At the global scale, burned area has decreased in recent decades, largely due to clearing of savannahs for agriculture and increased fire suppression. In contrast, burned area has increased in closed-canopy forests, likely in response to the dual pressures of climate change and forest degradation.

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“Fire weather does occur naturally but is becoming more severe and widespread due to climate change. Limiting global warming to well below 2 degree celsius would help avoid further increases in the risk of extreme fire weather,” said study researcher Richard Betts. (IANS)

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Here’s Why Yogurt Consumption May Help in Avoiding Breast Cancer Risk

Several studies have shown that the consumption of yoghurt is associated with a reduction in the risk of breast cancer

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Cancer
Scientists from Lancaster University said their idea -- as yet unproven -- is supported by the available evidence, which is that bacterial induced inflammation is linked to cancer. Pixabay

Eating natural yogurt daily may lesson breast cancer risk owing to lactose fermenting bacteria which reduces inflammation triggered by harmful bacteria, say researchers.

Yoghurt contains beneficial lactose-fermenting bacteria commonly found in milk, similar to the bacteria — or microflora 00 found in the breasts of mothers who have breastfed.

Scientists from Lancaster University said their idea — as yet unproven — is supported by the available evidence, which is that bacterial induced inflammation is linked to cancer.

“There is a simple, inexpensive potential preventive remedy; which is for women to consume natural yoghurt on a daily basis,” the authors wrote in a paper appeared in the journal Medical Hypotheses.

“We now know that breast milk is not sterile and that lactation alters the microflora of the breast,” said Dr Rachael Rigby from Lancaster University’s Faculty of Health and Medicine.

“Lactose fermenting bacteria are commonly found in milk and are likely to occupy the breast ducts of women during lactation and for an unknown period after lactation,” Rigby added.

Raspberries, Yogurt, Nature, Fresh, Breakfast, Pink
Eating natural yogurt daily may lesson breast cancer risk owing to lactose fermenting bacteria which reduces inflammation triggered by harmful bacteria, say researchers. Pixabay

The researchers suggest that lactose-fermenting bacteria in the breast is protective because each year of breast-feeding reduces the risk of breast cancer by 4.3 per cent.

Several studies have shown that the consumption of yoghurt is associated with a reduction in the risk of breast cancer, which the researchers suggest may be due to the displacement of harmful bacteria by beneficial bacteria.

There are approximately 10 billion bacterial cells in the human body and while most are harmless, some bacteria create toxins that trigger inflammation in the body.

Chronic inflammation destroys the harmful germs but it also damages the body.

One of the most common inflammatory conditions is gum disease or periodontitis which has already been linked to oral, oesophageal, colonic, pancreatic, prostatic and breast cancer.

Yogurt, Fruit, Vanilla, Strawberries, Food, Healthy
Yoghurt contains beneficial lactose-fermenting bacteria commonly found in milk, similar to the bacteria — or microflora 00 found in the breasts of mothers who have breastfed. Pixabay

“The stem cells which divide to replenish the lining of the breast ducts are influenced by the microflora, and certain components of the microflora have been shown in other organs, such as the colon and stomach, to increase the risk of cancer development,” said the researchers.

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“Therefore a similar scenario is likely to be occurring in the breast, whereby resident microflora impact on stem cell division and influence cancer risk,” they added. (IANS)