Wildfires have increased carbon emissions from Alaskan forests over the past decade, suggests a study published online in Nature Geoscience.
Climate change has increased the area affected by forest fires in boreal North America. Merritt Turetsky and colleagues examined the depth of ground-layer burning in Alaskan forests over the past three decades. The depth of burning increased as the fire season progressed, and was greater the larger the area burned. The team’s model simulations suggest that increases in combustion at the ground layer have accelerated regional carbon emissions over the past decade.