Climate, Fire, & Western Forests

“Montana is the most sensitive, with the models predicting a 5-fold increase in mean area burned over the observed range in climate, the authors write.”

“More frequent, more extensive fires in forest ecosystems will likely reduce the number and size of patches of older forests, the authors say. Corridors of wild areas between forests, through which species might migrate if their home territory goes up in flames, also could be affected, possibly eliminated.”

Science Daily Web address:

Modest Climate Change Could Lead To Substantially
More And Larger Fires ScienceDaily (Sep. 1, 2004)
“The increases in fire extent and frequency are…most pronounced for mid-elevation forests in the northern Rocky Mountains.”

“Lots of people think climate change and the ecological responses are 50 to 100 years away. But it’s not 50 to 100 years away–it’s happening now in forest ecosystems through fire.”

“The researchers found that 56 percent of the wildfires and 72 percent of the total area burned occurred in early snowmelt years. By contrast, years when snowmelt happened much later than average had only 11 percent of the wildfires and 4 percent of the total area burned.”

ScienceDaily Web address:

More Large Forest Fires Linked To Climate Change ScienceDaily (Jul. 10, 2006)


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