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Forest Fire Losses On the Rise, Study Shows

posted: 04/06/15
by: Discovery.com Staff
Forest fire raging
Nick Lyon/DCI

The world lost forestland twice the size of Portugal in 2013, according to a new report from Global Forest Watch. The 69,500 square miles lost represent a startling 5.2% increase over the 2000-2012 average.

Losses were attributed to a variety of sources, including deforestation, natural and manmade forest fires, logging, farming and tree mortality (the arboreal equivalent of "natural causes"). Canada and Russia were particularly susceptible to fire-related losses, with around 70% of each country's loss blamed on fire.

In recent years, scientists speculated that climate change could result in more frequent, more intense forest fires due to an extension of the forest fire season. Nonetheless, the study claims that it is too soon to identify a lasting trend.

Click here for the full report from Global Forest Watch

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