Climate Central reports: Indonesia is in the grips of a double-headed climate and public health crisis as fires rage across the country. On Monday, the fires reached such a fever pitch that Indonesian Prime Minister Joko Widodo cut a trip to the U.S. short to return home and deal with the inferno that’s turning air toxic and putting more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere than the U.S. on a daily basis.
Nearly 116,000 fires have been documented and air quality in Indonesia and its neighboring countries has suffered. The fires are a yearly occurrence, but this year is already the second-most prolific burn year on record and dry conditions driven by this year’s strong El Niño mean it still has a shot at the top spot. [Continue reading…]