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Catastrophic fires in Russian forestsAuthor(s): A. I. Sukhinin; D. J. McRae; B. J. Stocks; S. G. Conard; WeiMin Hao; A. J. Soja; D. Cahoon
Source: American Geophysical Union. Fall Meeting: Abstract #GC33A-0931.
Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
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DescriptionWe evaluated the contribution of catastrophic fires to the total burned area and the amount of tree mortality in Russia since the 1970’s. Such fires occurred in the central regions of European Russia (1972, 1976, 1989, 2002, 2010), Khabarovsk krai (1976, 1988, 1998), Amur region (1997-2002), Republics of Yakutia and Tuva (2002), Magadan and Kamchatka oblast (1984, 2001, 2010), and Irkutsk, Chita, Amur regions, Buryat, Agin national districts (2003, 2007-08). We define a catastrophic fire as a single high-severity fire that covers more than 10,000 ha and results in total consumption of the litter and humus layers and in high tree mortality, or the simultaneous occurrence of several high-severity fires in a given region with a total area exceeding 10,000 km2. Fires on this scale can cause substantial economic, social and environmental effects, with regional to global impacts. We hypothesize that there is a positive feedback between anticyclone growth and energy release from wildfires burning over large areas. Usually the first blocking anticyclone appears in June in Russia, bringing with it dry weather that increases fire hazard. The anticyclonic pattern has maximum activity in the end of July and disappears around the middle of August.
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CitationSukhinin, A. I.; McRae, D. J.; Stocks, B. J.; Conard, S. G.; Hao, W.; Soja, A. J.; Cahoon, D. 2010. Catastrophic fires in Russian forests. American Geophysical Union. Fall Meeting: Abstract #GC33A-0931.
Keywordsmiddle atmosphere energy deposition, natural hazards, remote sensing, land/atmosphere interactions
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