Tree Frog Forestry News

Heat waves, wildfire & permafrost thaw: The North’s climate change trifecta

By Catherine Dieleman, University of Guelph
The Conversation
July 23, 2020
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada East, Canada

The Arctic Circle became unbelievably hot on June 20. In the Russian community of Verkhoyansk, temperatures topped 38C, marking what may be the highest air temperature ever recorded within the Arctic. …For scientists the world-over these record-breaking temperatures are alarm bells, demonstrating the kind of extreme weather events we can expect to see more often if climate change continues unchecked. However, it is the long-term fallout from modern heat waves that has many northern scientists deeply concerned, as they will affect our planet for decades to come. …In northern regions like the boreal biome, these fire-promoting conditions can cause large-scale wildfires that burn millions of hectares of forest in a single summer. …When fires burn deep into soils or return too quickly to a forest, they lose their “ancient carbon” stocks. …When permafrost ecosystems burn, the wildfire consumes these protective layers, often triggering permafrost thaw.

Read More