According to the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS), an European Union-based weather service that provides data on atmospheric composition, thousands of acres of ecologically important land are being burned and causing a toxic haze.
Mark Parrington, a European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts senior scientist at the CAMS, said in a recent review of data that they are closely monitoring the intensity of the fires and smoke emitting from Indonesia.
“Approximately half of the local fire season having passed, it is clear that these fires are unusual and are causing significant concern,” Parrington said. “In Indonesia, burning peat, which can smolder at low temperatures and underground, is the most significant concern as it is releasing carbon which has been stored for tens or thousands of years.”
CAMS says the air quality in the span from August 1 to September 18 of this year is thought to be “equally as poor” as the 2015 fires, which were considered to be particularly devastating for Indonesia and surrounding South Asian nations.
Much like the Amazon, the fires in Indonesia have been started deliberately in order to clear land for agriculture, but especially for paper and palm oil.