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Title: Data from: Forest carbon emission sources are not equal: putting fire, harvest, and fossil fuel emissions in context
Climate change has intensified the scale of global wildfire impacts in recent decades. To help policymakers and managers avoid these unintended carbon consequences and to present carbon emission sources in the same context, we calculate western US forest fire carbon emissions and compare them with harvest and fossil fuel emissions over the same timeframe. We find that forest fire carbon emissions are on average only 6% of anthropogenic fossil fuel emissions (FFE) over the past decade. While wildfire occurrence and area burned have increased over the last three decades, per area fire emissions for extreme fire events are relatively constant. In contrast, harvest of mature trees releases a higher density of carbon emissions (e.g., per unit area) relative to wildfire (150-800%) because harvest causes a higher rate of tree mortality than wildfire. Shown in context, our results demonstrate that reducing FFEs will do more for climate mitigation potential (and subsequent reduction of fire) than increasing extractive harvest to prevent fire emissions.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
1655183
NSF-PAR ID:
10357635
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ; ;
Publisher / Repository:
University of Idaho
Date Published:
Subject(s) / Keyword(s):
FOS: Biological sciences FOS: Agriculture, forestry, and fisheries
Format(s):
Medium: X Size: 62.8 MB Other: csv; txt
Size(s):
62.8 MB
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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