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Possible Impact from Alaskan Forest Fires on Glaciers of St. Elias Mountains, Yukon Canada
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences.
2015 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
Potentiell påverkan från Alaskas skogsbränder på S:t Eliasbergens glaciärer, Yukon Kanada (Swedish)
Abstract [en]

How great potential effect does the Black carbon emitted from the boreal forest fire region of Alaska have on the retreating glaciers of the St. Elias Mountains? In this study climate and forest fire history data of Alaska was run in the HYSPLIT wind trajectory model to generate trajectories originated from large occurring fires in Alaska from 2005 to 2014. Results show a small percentage of trajectories passing the St. Elias Mountains and an expected pattern of a correlation between passing trajectories and density of amount forest fires. Interdisciplinary climate research is indicating an increase in global temperatures with consequences such as an upswing of forest fires in the Northern Hemisphere. Inner Alaska is fire prone due to a combination of prevailing droughts during the summer season and frequent lightning ignition as a result from homogeneous vegetation and topography. Downwind from Alaska’s forest fire region is the ice field of the St. Elias Mountains, these glaciers are one of the fastest retreating due to increasing global temperatures and possible deposition of soot from Alaskan forest fires. Forest fire emits black carbon, which when deposited on snow or ice surfaces will decrease the albedo and accelerate the melting rate. Previous studies on ice cores from the St. Elias have investigated traces of combustion products from biomass burning. This indicates a possible record of historic forest fires in ice cores. The small percentage of passing trajectories in this study suggests that most large forest fires in Alaska might not be registered in the St. Elias ice cores.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 27 p.
, Självständigt arbete vid Institutionen för geovetenskaper, 2015:13
Keyword [en]
Alaska, St Elias mountains, forest fires, Black Carbon, albedo, HYSPLIT
National Category
Climate Research Earth and Related Environmental Sciences Physical Geography
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-256366OAI: diva2:825138
Subject / course
Geophysical Science (HGO)
Educational program
Bachelor Programme in Earth Science
2015-06-03, Hambergsalen, Institutionen för geovetenskaper, Uppsala universitet, Villavägen 16, Uppsala, 11:40 (English)
Available from: 2015-06-24 Created: 2015-06-23 Last updated: 2015-06-24Bibliographically approved

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