From The Conversation (14/11/23)…
Fire is consuming more than ever of the world’s forests, threatening supplies of wood and paper
A third of the world’s forests are cut for timber. This generates US$1.5 trillion annually. But wildfire threatens industries such as timber milling and paper manufacturing, and the threat is far greater than most people realise.
Our research, published today in the journal Nature Geoscience, shows that between 2001 and 2021, severe wildfires worldwide destroyed timber-producing forests equivalent to an area the size of Great Britain. Severe fires reach the tree tops and consume the forest canopy.
The amount of timber-producing forest burning each year in severe wildfires has increased significantly in the past decade. The western United States, Canada, Siberia, Brazil and Australia have been most affected.
Timber demand is expected to almost triple by 2050. Supplying demand is clearly going to be challenging. Our research highlights the need to urgently adopt new management strategies and emerging technologies to combat the increasing threat of wildfires.