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The Impact of Boreal Forest Fire on Climate Warming

Randerson, J. T. and Liu, H. and Flanner, M. G. and Chambers, S. D. and Jin, Y. and Hess, P. G. and Pfister, G. and Mack, M. C. and Treseder, K. K. and Welp, L. R. and Chapin, F. S. and Harden, J. W. and Goulden, M. L. and Lyons, E. and Neff, J. C. and Schuur, E. A. G. and Zender, C. S. (2006) The Impact of Boreal Forest Fire on Climate Warming. Science, 314 (5802). pp. 1130-1132. ISSN 0036-8075. doi:10.1126/science.1132075.

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We report measurements and analysis of a boreal forest fire, integrating the effects of greenhouse gases, aerosols, black carbon deposition on snow and sea ice, and postfire changes in surface albedo. The net effect of all agents was to increase radiative forcing during the first year (34 ± 31 Watts per square meter of burned area), but to decrease radiative forcing when averaged over an 80-year fire cycle (–2.3 ± 2.2 Watts per square meter) because multidecadal increases in surface albedo had a larger impact than fire-emitted greenhouse gases. This result implies that future increases in boreal fire may not accelerate climate warming.

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URLURL TypeDescription Online Material
Randerson, J. T.0000-0001-6559-7387
Welp, L. R.0000-0001-7125-0478
Goulden, M. L.0000-0002-9379-3948
Additional Information:© 2006 American Association for the Advancement of Science. Received 5 July 2006; accepted 3 October 2006. This work was supported by NSF and NASA grants (OPP-0097439 and NNG04GK49G, respectively). We thank M. Prather for advice and C. Dunn, J. Henkelman, J. Raymond, and J. Garron for technical assistance.
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Issue or Number:5802
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20141118-090640921
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:51883
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:18 Nov 2014 17:15
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 19:17

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