Canada’s wildfires blamed for rise in global loss of tree cover

By Anand Ram and Benjamin Shingler
CBC News
April 4, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

Progress made when it comes to the protection of the world’s forests was thwarted by last year’s historic wildfire season in Canada, according to a new report. The annual survey, published Thursday by the World Resources Institute, a research group, found that global tree cover loss outside of the tropics increased 24 per cent in 2023. The change is attributed to the enormous loss of tree cover last year in Canada. Canada’s wildfire season was the worst on record, with five times more tree cover lost due to fire in 2023 than the year before. Experts say drought and hot temperatures made more likely by climate change created the conditions that resulted in Canada’s historic season. According to the tree cover report, Canada accounted for more than half of the world’s forest loss due to fire last year, and 92 per cent of the forest lost in the country was due to fire. 

Additional coverage by Matthew McClearn in the Globe and Mail: Canada lost 8.6 million hectares of forest in 2023, more than 90% due to wildfires

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