Virtual OMSI Science Pub: Fires at the Top of the World: Why is the Arctic Burning?
with Randi Jandt, Fire Ecologist, Alaska Fire Science Consortium
Recent years have seen an increase in unusual wildfire events in forest and tundra in boreal and arctic regions, including Alaska, Canada, Russia, Greenland and Scandinavia. We will show a few examples of fire disasters or strange phenomena in the far north, and talk about the general background of how the environment has changed and is still changing in northern high latitudes in response to warming trends. We’ll then explore the unique characteristics of boreal forest and tundra and the reasons arctic fire regimes are so sensitive and responsive to changes in climate. Fires, in turn, can have surprising feedbacks to these environments.
Randi Jandt is an ecologist from the Alaska Fire Science Consortium, based at University of Alaska-Fairbanks' International Arctic Research Center. She has a MS in Wildlife Management from UAF and 30 years field experience in Alaska as a fire ecologist, wildlife biologist and sometimes firefighter. In her current part-time posting with UAF she works with research groups from all over the country & fire management agencies in Alaska to facilitate "fire science we can use". Current areas of research involve the effectiveness of fire fuels breaks in boreal forest and how climate warming is changing fire regime, tundra, and forests in northern latitudes.
Rick Thoman provided information for this lecture. Rick is an Alaska Climate Specialist at University of Alaska-Fairbanks' International Arctic Research Center. He produces climate change information describing Alaska’s changing environment. His work spans the bridge between climate monitoring, Alaska communities and media.