Alaska Tundra Fires during a Time of Rapid Climate Change
Media Type: Video
  • Daniel H. Mann
    University of Alaska Fairbanks
Distribution Contact(s):
  • Alaska Fire Science Consortium
Date: October 10, 2017

Cataloging Information

  • 2007 Anaktuvuk River Fire
  • AFSC - Alaska Fire Science Consortium
  • annual area burned
  • boreal forest
  • C - carbon
  • carbon release
  • climate change
  • fire frequency
  • geomorphology
  • trace gases
  • tundra fire
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: March 8, 2019
FRAMES Record Number: 25365


Presentation from the 2017 Fall Alaska Fire Science Workshop. Tundra fires were once very rare on Alaska's North Slope, but are now becoming more frequent, probably as a result of climate change. Fire-management need to be highly adaptable during this time of rapid change; however, information concerning the patterns and processes of tundra fires on the North Slope is quite limited. Recent studies stress the drastic impacts tundra fires can have on carbon release, permafrost thaw, and plant succession. The current consensus is that the 'natural' fire regime, in which fires were rare, is now changing rapidly to a new regime characterized by hotter, larger, and more frequent fires. Understanding the fire ecology of Alaskan tundra is important for several reasons including: 1) the region contains petroleum infrastructure of national importance, 2) Native residents rely on subsistence resources like caribou and waterfowl whose populations are affected by the fire regime, and 3) permafrost (perennially frozen ground) stores enormous amounts of organic carbon (C) that can be released to the atmosphere when fires combust the vegetation and peat now protecting it from thaw.

Recording Length: 0:22:32
Online Link(s):
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