Fires burn more tree cover every year due to climate change

By Hunter Bassler
Wildfire Today
September 13, 2023
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US East

A new report has confirmed what forest managers have been warning the public about for years: Forest fires are becoming more widespread thanks to climate change. The report, created by researchers at the University of Maryland, broke down global satellite data and found wildfires were the cause of 26 to 29 percent of global forest loss between 2001 and 2019. The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), further analyzes the researchers’ maps to estimate just how many more acres of forests were lost to fires compared with two decades ago. “We calculated that forest fires now result in 3 million more hectares (~7.4 million acres) of tree cover loss per year compared with 2001 … and accounted for more than one-quarter of all tree cover loss over the past 20 years,” OCHA said.

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