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Students searching for biological ways to prevent tundra fires

In August-September 2016 three CML students are doing an exciting field work in sub-arctic tundra in Sweden in collaboration with Ümea University.

Climate change increases chances of fire in tundra, the globally-important sink of carbon. Tundra fires seriously damage arctic wildlife, decrease biodiversity, bring people in danger and release enormous amount of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, amplifying therewith climate change processes.

Reindeer grazing changes tundra vegetation and might reduce fire chances, because reindeers eat highly inflammable plants. Three CML students and the tenure-track assistant professor Nadia Soudzilovskaia are currently doing field work in Swedish Lapland examining impacts of reindeer grazing on processes of tundra ignition, burning and carbon release.

BSc student Sybren Hilgen making observations in the field

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