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The Low Carbon Economy Ltd

16 Feb 2009 04:02:02

Carbon emissions add to forest fire risk

Carbon emissions add to forest fire risk
The world's rainforests could be at risk of wildfires which would lead to increased carbon emissions, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has said.

Speaking at the recent American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting in Chicago, Dr Chris Field, co-chair of the IPCC said that climate change could cause even more damage than originally thought.

Addressing delegates, he said that forests are at risk of drying out as global warming continues.

"Tropical forests are essentially inflammable. You couldn't get a fire to burn there if you tried," Dr Field commented.

"But if they dry out just a little, the result can be very large and destructive wildfires. It is increasingly clear that as you produce a warmer world, lots of forested areas that had been acting as carbon sinks could be converted to carbon sources."

Dr Field is due to present his latest IPCC report in 2014 which is expected to include updated forecasts on the impact of climate change.



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