Amid a scorching heatwave, a landfill site in New Delhi, India, spontaneously ignited, spewing toxic smoke into the air for three days, according to sources abc news.
This is no ordinary landfill. According to ABC, the dump is more like a mountain of garbage, taller than a 17-story building and wider than 50 football pitches. (So a pile of garbage that is more than 240 feet or 73 meters high and more than 15,000 feet or 4,572 meters long). Video captured from a nearby freeway and shared on Reddit on Tuesday (April 26) shows a towering inferno billowing toxic smoke into the air as hordes of motorists halt traffic to enjoy the spectacle.
The fire reportedly started due to the spontaneous combustion of methane (CH4) – a strong one greenhouse gas released by decomposing organic matter, in addition to natural occurrences underground. (See Turkmenistans”gates of hell” for an idea of what happens when natural methane catches fire.)
When methane reaches a certain concentration, it can spontaneously explode in the presence of heat, Studies have shown. Unfortunately, that means landfill fires like this one are commonplace.
“Every year there is a fire,” Bhairo Raj, a waste worker who lives next to the landfill, told ABC. “It’s not new. There is a risk to life and existence, but what do we do?”
Three other landfills near New Delhi have also caught fire in recent weeks, ABC reported. The landfill where the last fire started was scheduled to close more than a decade ago, but more than 2,300 short tons (2,086 tons) of garbage is being added to the dumps every day, according to ABC.
These methane blasts were almost certainly triggered by the intense heat that has ravaged India in recent weeks. Last month was the hottest March on record in India in more than 100 years. Al Jazeera reported, and April has not granted a grace period. On Friday (April 29), temperatures soared to over 46 degrees Celsius in several cities across the country Meteorological Department of India reported.
Around the world, summer heat waves have become both more frequent and more intense in recent years due to human-caused climate change. Live Science previously reported. July 2021 was the hottest month on record, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said.
Originally published on Live Science.
New Delhi garbage dump spontaneously combusts during record Indian heatwave Source link New Delhi garbage dump spontaneously combusts during record Indian heatwave