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Alta Fires 20190520

Intense Boreal Forest Fires a Climate Concern

The Chuckegg Creek wildfire sparked in the province of Alberta, Canada on May 12, 2019. Over the next three months, the blaze burned across 280,000 hectares, forcing more than 10,000 people to evacuate their homes. On the Global Forest Watch(GFW) Fires platform, bright red fire alerts were visible blossoming out across the landscape. Chuckegg Creek […]


5 Images Explain Why the Alberta Forest Fires Are So Hard to Stop

By Rachael Petersen, Susan Minnemeyer and Wynet Smith Fires are a natural part of many boreal forest ecosystems, but the massive blaze raging in Alberta, Canada is a catastrophe that threatens human health, the economy and the environment. The fire has already displaced 80,000 people—the largest fire evacuation in Canada’s history—and threatens hundreds of thousands […]


Forests Housing Rare and Endangered Species Lost 1.2 Million Hectares of Trees Since 2001

By Benjamin Jones, Carolyn Ciciarelli, Eric Dinerstein and Michael Anderson The jury is still out on whether a tree falling in the forest makes a sound, but it certainly makes an impact. That’s especially true for endangered and endemic species, which only have one remaining area of viable habitat left on Earth, like Madame Berthe’s mouse lemur […]


Tree Cover Loss Spikes in Russia and Canada, Remains High Globally

By Nigel Sizer, Matt Hansen, Peter Potapov, David Thau, Rachael Petersen and James Anderson New, high-resolution satellite-based maps released today by the University of Maryland and Google on Global Forest Watch, a partnership of over 60 organizations convened by the World Resources Institute, reveal a significant recent surge in tree cover loss largely in Russia and […]


Tar Sands Threaten World’s Largest Boreal Forest

By  Rachael Petersen, Nigel Sizer and Peter Lee Photo by Ken Owen. Canada’s boreal forest is one of Earth’s major ecological treasures. Yet the region’s forests are under threat from logging, hydrodams and mining. Satellite data reveals a major new threat to Canada’s boreal forests—tar sands development. According to data from Global Forest Watch, an online mapping platform that monitors forests in […]


9 Maps that Explain the World’s Forests

By Crystal Davis and David Thau By the time we find out about deforestation, it’s usually too late to take action. Scientists have been studying forests for centuries, chronicling the vital importance of these ecosystems for human society. But most of us still lack timely and reliable information about where, when, and why forests are […]