Novus participants Feng Sheng Hu (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign) and Ryan Kelly (Boston University) and colleagues recently published a study linking paleoenvironmental data to model simulations of long-term carbon cycling in boreal forests of Alaska. Their analysis showed that changes in fire frequency over the past millennium accounted for 84% of the changes in carbon stocks across this time period. Increasing fire frequency led to net carbon losses from boreal forests, which may exacerbate effects of increasing atmospheric CO2 under future disturbance scenarios.
Kelly, R, H. Genet, AD McGuire, F.S. Hu (2015) Palaeodata-informed modelling of large carbon losses from recent burning of boreal forests. Nature Climate Change, doi: 101038/nclimate2832