More on climate change in the arctic tundra

August 6, 2011 – 11:42 am

In addition to the phenomenon of thermokarsts, the other really obvious and interesting thing going on up here is the increase in tundra fires. There was a massive tundra fire in 2007 along the Anaktuvuk River that burned 1000 km2. Here’s a satellite image (MODIS) of it:

Some leading researchers here at Toolik recently published a Nature paper (and got some nice press coverage) on the amount of carbon lost from the fire (a lot). My fellow Toolik postdoc Adrian Rocha has also been doing some cool work on carbon balance post fire. I flew out to the burn to help him one time with his towers, but I didn’t see the actual burnedness since it was still snowy at the time.

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