Yes, forest fires do put alot if carbon in the atmosphere. It has been debated whether or not small intentional forest fires should be created in order to remove some of the debree that causes the much bigger wildfires. The main issue with this argument is that forests are known to absorb the carbon dioxide that aids in global warming. Scientists are having to determine whether or not these small intentional fires will make forests do their job better in reversing the effects of global warming (NPR, 2011).
Yes, they do. In fact, it has been theorized that forest fires may (or at least had the potential to) have been a significant contributing factor to the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum, which was a period of significant global warming that occurred 56 million years ago. However, like nellieliz4 pointed out, forest fires are natural occurrences that provide forest maintenance and may enable them to better perform their jobs as carbon sinks.
Yes, forest fires do emit a significant amount of carbon. In fact, fire has more of an impact on the carbon balance than does climate change. When a forest fire occurs, it destroys the vegetation and forces the forest to begin anew. Often times, old generation trees are killed, and in turn, new, immature trees and plants grow after the fire. The new species and thin canopy that result from a forest fire essentially produce more carbon. With a thinner canopy covering the land, more sunlight is able to come through, speeding up the process of decomposition and release of carbon dioxide.
Yes, forest fires emit a lot of carbon into the atmosphere. Trees store carbon, so when they are burnt down all of that carbon is released back into the air. Rather than create small forest fires to limit the chance of a large one forming, I think that people need to be more careful in general. A lot of forest fires are human related through accidents. Stricter regulations need to be made to make sure these are avoided!
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