Bulletin of Chinese Academy of Sciences (Chinese Version)


wildfire, carbon emission, climate change, carbon neutrality

Document Type

S & T and Society


Between 2000 and 2020, global wildfires contributed to approximately 7.32 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, accounting for about 18.5% of CO2 emissions released from fossil fuels. Forest fires alone contributed to around 20% of these wildfire emissions, approximately 1.5 billion metric tons of CO2. Due to climate change and human activities, carbon emissions from forest fires are on the rise. For example, the 2023 Canadian fires have emitted 1.268 billion metric tons of CO2 up to August 29th. Despite the simultaneous increase in forest area and volume, the frequency and extent of forest fires have significantly decreased in China since 2010, which has made a significant contribution to global carbon emission reduction. Given forest fires have become a significant global carbon emission source, a comprehensive, objective, and fair carbon emission monitoring and accounting system that considers carbon emissions from both human activities and forest fires should be established. At the same time, effective measures should be taken to reduce the occurrence frequency and intensity of wildfires to lower carbon emissions from forest fires. To address the challenges of predicting and preventing extreme forest fire behavior, it is essential to develop a forest fire risk identification, early warning, prediction, and prevention technology system. Additionally, research should be devoted to carbon emissions from wildfires, aiming to establish a more scientific, comprehensive, and domestically controllable carbon accounting system.

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Bulletin of Chinese Academy of Sciences


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