Forest fires last year resulted in record tree loss around the globe – climate change and El Niño were major factors. This is bad news for the world’s carbon sinks. A record 29.7 million hectares (73.4 million acres) of forest were destroyed in 2016, according to new data by Global Forest Watch. Most of the forests were destroyed by wildfires, caused at least in part by climate change that has increased the risks and intensity of wildfires by triggering temperature rise and drought in some areas. The weather phenomenon El Niño, which in 2015 and 2016 was one of the strongest on record, also played a role, having created particularly dry conditions in the tropics. …2017 might be another record-breaker for burning. Blazes have swept through parts of southern Europe, western Canada and the US this year.