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Article

Drought-Modulated Boreal Forest Fire Occurrence and Linkage with La Nina Events in Altai Mountains, Northwest China

1
College of Global Change and Earth System Science, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
2
Xinjiang Academy of Forestry Sciences, Urumqi 830000, China
3
College of Civil Engineering, Southwest Forestry University, Kunming 650224, China
4
Research Institute of Forest Ecology, Environment and Protection, Chinese Academy of Forestry, Forest Protection Laboratory of National Forestry and Grassland Administration, Beijing 100091, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Atmosphere 2020, 11(9), 956; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11090956
Received: 28 July 2020 / Revised: 3 September 2020 / Accepted: 4 September 2020 / Published: 7 September 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wildfire Spread and Weather: Theory, Models and Reality)
Warming-induced drought stress and El Nino-associated summer precipitation failure are responsible for increased forest fire intensities of tropical and temperate forests in Asia and Australia. However, both effects are unclear for boreal forests, the largest biome and carbon stock over land. Here, we combined fire frequency, burned area, and climate data in the Altai boreal forests, the southmost extension of Siberia’s boreal forest into China, and explored their link with El Nino–Southern Oscillation (ENSO). Surprisingly, both summer drought severity and fire occurrence showed significant (p < 0.05) correlation with La Nina events of the previous year and therefore provide an important reference for forest fire prediction and prevention in Altai. Despite a significant warming trend, the increased moisture over Altai has largely offset the effect of warming-induced drought stress and led to an insignificant fire frequency trend in the last decades, resulting in largely reduced burned area since the 1980s. The reduced burned area can also be attributed to fire suppression efforts and greatly increased investment in fire prevention since 1987. View Full-Text
Keywords: boreal forest; forest fire; ENSO; Altai Mountain boreal forest; forest fire; ENSO; Altai Mountain
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MDPI and ACS Style

Shi, C.; Liang, Y.; Gao, C.; Wang, Q.; Shu, L. Drought-Modulated Boreal Forest Fire Occurrence and Linkage with La Nina Events in Altai Mountains, Northwest China. Atmosphere 2020, 11, 956. https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11090956

AMA Style

Shi C, Liang Y, Gao C, Wang Q, Shu L. Drought-Modulated Boreal Forest Fire Occurrence and Linkage with La Nina Events in Altai Mountains, Northwest China. Atmosphere. 2020; 11(9):956. https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11090956

Chicago/Turabian Style

Shi, Chunming, Ying Liang, Cong Gao, Qiuhua Wang, and Lifu Shu. 2020. "Drought-Modulated Boreal Forest Fire Occurrence and Linkage with La Nina Events in Altai Mountains, Northwest China" Atmosphere 11, no. 9: 956. https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11090956

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