The cause of the California wildfires may be drought caused by climate change, and their effect may be to worsen climate change as well.
The wildfires emitted almost 8 million metric tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, or about as much as the whole state normally emits in fossil fuels in a week. Scientists are less concerned about the amount of CO2 released by burning plants however.
Wildfires are a natural part of the ecosystem, and CO2 emissions from the fires are part of the natural cycle. In addition, CO2 from wildfires is actually less harmful than that of fossil fuels.
About 290 million tons of CO2 emissions are released from fires. This is equivalent to 4%-6% of the emissions produced by fossil fuels in the US.
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