A recent study has shown that changes related to global warming occurring in the northern subarctic state of Alaska, USA have caused nearly 19 million hectares of forests to change from absorbing carbon into releasing it.
Lead author Professor Merritt Turetsky of Canada's University of Guelph said that in the last decade alone, the amount of carbon being emitted by these forests into the atmosphere was much higher than the amount stored over the same period.
With conditions becoming warmer and drier, fires are now burning late into the season and going deep into the soil where plant matter and other biomass have accumulated over thousands of years. An alarming example of this effect was seen this past summer, when fires both above and below the ground blazed out of control in Russia, claiming 50 human lives and untold wildlife as more than a million hectares were destroyed.
Remarking on such phenomenon, Professor Turetsky stated, “Essentially this could represent a runaway climate change scenario in which warming is leading to larger and more intense fires, releasing more greenhouse gases and resulting in more warming.
Professor Turetsky and University of Guelph associates, our thanks for your detailed observations of this additional sign of planetary distress. With Heaven's grace, may we all step toward actions that renew the safety of life on Earth for humans and animals alike. http://www.trust.org/alertnet/news/climate-change-fans-deep-burning-fires-in-alaska/
, http://www.physorg.com/news/2010-12-northern-wildfires-threaten-runaway-climate.html http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5iHzV4Rnedlsw6RBBnzPrz4OZou3g?