Arctic on Fire

By Edward Struzik
World Policy Institute
October 12, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Although we cannot assume that climate change is a significant factor in every wildfire scenario, these Arctic fire seasons showed clear indications of such influence. Along with 12 other scientists, Scott Rupp, a wildfire ecologist at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and university director of the Interior Department’s Alaska Climate Science Center, spent months poring over data that may theoretically link the wildfires of 2015 to anthropogenic climate change. Remove regional warming from the picture, they concluded, and the forests of Alaska would very likely not have burned as severely as they did. …As climate continues to play a role in the way fires burn bigger, faster, hotter, and with greater frequency in the north, it is becoming increasingly clear that the conifers of the boreal forest in the sub-Arctic, the sedge meadows, and lichens of the tundra are not responding well to the changes.

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