Energy & Environment

Extreme wildfires in world’s biggest forest turns it into net-emitter from carbon sink

Extreme wildfires in Boreal Forest carbon sink

A large stretch of boreal forest carbon sink in the Northern Hemisphere covers some parts of Scandinavia, Siberia, Canada, and Alaska. It covers a tenth of the whole World’s land and one-third of carbon store, majorly in trees and organically rich soil. As per the Journal Science’s new study, the evidence of an alarming rate of increase in emission from forest fires in higher altitudes has been found more prominently than before. 

Because of the cold climate and waterlogging, the dead organism, tree bark, and needles on the forest ground take a longer period to decompose. Thus, soils have been developing carbon sinks in the due course of time after the retreat of the ice age. Since that time, forest fires that emerged from lightning have shaped these ecosystems. 

A lot of carbon goes back to the atmosphere due to the burning of carbon in trees and the upper layer soil. The soil carbon is more prominent in this area. Carbon release is 10 to 20 times more prominent than other similar size ecosystems, which do not have enough soil carbon. 

Boreal forests catch fire only once in a century or even less. Though, this duration is much longer in comparison to other ecosystems, yet the losses exceed due to the extra carbon in soils and trees. Since the past 6,000 years or more, the boreal forests have shown quite stable graphs of carbon absorption and release and have served as the world’s vital carbon sink. 

But, global heating, particularly in high altitudes of the Northern Hemisphere has rung the alarm bell. High rise in temperature is elongating the duration of fire, resulting in more frequent and severe forest fires in the area. This will result in more carbon release than reabsorption, which in turn can imbalance the equilibrium of the ecosystem.  

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She is an author of many books in English and Hindi. Her poems and stories are very real and will help you to learn from her experience. She has contributed to Times Of India pages and has appeared has model in many ads as well. She is working continuously for Women Empowerment by training women about self confidence and self love through various means. She is also a social worker to help many to be independent in thought and action.

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