Canadian Forest Service Publications

Climate change and forest fire activity in North American boreal Forests. 2000. Stocks, B.J.; Fosberg, M.A.; Wotton, B.M.; Lynham, T.J.; Ryan, K.C. (Chapter 20) in Fire, Climate Change and Carbon Cycling in the North American Boreal Forest. E.S. Kasischke an dB.J.Stocks (editors) p 368-376. Spring-Verlag.

Year: 2000

Issued by: Great Lakes Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 36104

Language: English

Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)

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After a decade of speculation and debate, there is now a general scientific consensus that rising greenhouse gas levels in the earth's atmosphere will result in significant climate change over the next century. The recent statement by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (Watson et al. 1995) that ªthe observed increase in global mean temperature over the last century (0.3±0.6°C) is unlikely to be entirely due to natural causes, and that a pattern of climate response to human activities is identifiable in the climatological recordº is a strong endorsement of this conclusion. The recently negotiated Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change recognizes the influence of greenhouse gas concentrations on global warming and requires signatory countries to commit to significant reductions in emissions in the near future, further evidence of a growing acknowledgment that climate change is a reality. There is also evidence of an emerging pattern of climate response to forcings by greenhouse gases and sulfate aerosols, as evidenced by geographic, seasonal, and vertical temperature patterns. In North America and Russia, this pattern of observed changes has taken the form of major winter and spring warming in west central and northwestern Canada and Alaska and virtually all Siberia over the past three decades, resulting in temperature increases of 2±3°C over this period (Environment Canada 1995; Hansen et al. 1996)