Sunday, December 05, 2010

Climate change fans deep-burning fires in Alaska | Energy & Oil | Reuters
WASHINGTON, Dec 5 (Reuters) - Climate change is fanning longer- and deeper-burning fires in interior Alaska, changing the area from a carbon sink -- where planet-warming gases are stored naturally in the soil -- to a carbon emitter, scientists reported on Sunday.
In the last decade, Kasischke said in an email, the biggest fire year in Alaska was 2004, when more than 56.7 million tons (51.5 teragrams or 51.5 billion kg) of carbon was emitted over 90 days, more than was released by all domestic U.S. airline flights for the whole year. That is also nearly as much carbon as was released by U.S. electricity generating plants for the same 90-day period.
But wait a minute: If CO2 is so powerful, and if the feedbacks are so positive, why was the "big" Alaskan fire year of 2004 followed by smaller fire years?

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