a wildfire burns trees

Boreal forest fire - Credit: Scott Rupp

Funded Title: 
Wildfire Projections in Interior Alaska (Host Agreement project)
Location: 
Interior Alaska
Duration: 
August 1, 2017 to July 31, 2022

Wildfires are a natural occurrence in interior Alaska’s boreal forest. There is extreme variability in the severity of the wildfire season in this region. A single year in which more than one million acres of forest burns can be followed by several years of low to moderate fire activity. In addition, fires in high latitude zones appear to be responding to changes in climate. Warmer temperatures rapidly cure understory fuels, such as fast-drying beds of mosses, lichens, and shrubs, which lie beneath highly flammable conifer trees.
 

Funded Title: 
Variability in the Drivers of Extreme Events (Host Agreement Project)
Location: 
Alaska
Duration: 
August 1, 2017 to July 31, 2022

In Alaska, extreme climate events such as very warm days, very cold days, and intense storms can have a range of impacts, from damaging infrastructure to disrupting the tourism economy. For example, in 2013, a colder than normal spring led to late ice break-up and rapid thaw, causing massive flooding along the Yukon River that displaced roughly 500 residents in a single town. Meanwhile, in Denali, cold May temperatures delayed openings for some tourist-related businesses.
 

The Boreal System illustration depicts some of the landscape characteristics, changes and drivers of change in the boreal ecosystem prevalent throughout Alaska and Northwest Canada. This illustration was developed as part of the Integrated Ecosystem Model project supported by the AK CASC.

The vector illustration can be used as a PDF or opened and edited using Adobe Illustrator.

This white paper by J. Littell, J. Koch, J. Young, and R. Toohey describes some of the impacts of ecological drought in Alaska, including changes in permafrost, fire, and vegetation change.

"Modeling the effects of fire severity on soil organic horizons and forest composition in Interior Alaska" is a poster presented at the American Geophysical Union Fall 2012 Meeting in San Francisco, California. The poster authors are Genet, H.; Barrett, K.; 

"The Alaska Integrated Ecosystem Model: An Interdisciplinary Tool to Assess the Responses of Natural Resources in Alaska to Climate Change" was a poster presented at the American Geophysical Union Fall 2012 Meeting in San Francisco, California.

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