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Title: Vulnerability and adaptation to climate-related fire impacts in rural and urban interior Alaska

Author: Trainor, Sarah F.; Calef, Monika; Natcher, David; Chapin, F. Stuart III; McGuire, A. David; Huntington, Orville; Duffy, Paul; Rupp, T. Scott; DeWilde, La'Ona; Kwart, Mary; Fresco, Nancy; Lovecraft, Amy Lauren;

Date: 2009

Source: Polar Research. 28: 100-118

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: We have learned that although urban and rural communities in interior Alaska face similar increased exposure to wildfire as a result of climate change, important differences exist in their sensitivity to these biophysical, climate-induced changes. In particular, reliance on wild foods, delayed suppression response, financial resources, and institutional connections vary between urban and rural communities. These differences depend largely on social, economic, and institutional factors, and are not necessarily related to biophysical climate impacts per se. Fire management and suppression action motivated by political, economic, or other pressures can serve as unintentional or indirect adaptation to climate change. However, this indirect response alone may not sufficiently reduce vulnerability to a changing fire regime. More deliberate and strategic responses may be required, given the magnitude of the expected climate change and the likelihood of an intensification of the fire regime in interior Alaska.

Keywords: climate change, interior Alaska, rural, urban, vulnerability, wildfire

Publication Notes:

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  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.



Trainor, S.F.; Calef, M.; Natcher, D.; Chapin, F.S., III; McGuire, A.D.; Huntington, O.; Duffy, P.; Rupp, T.S.; DeWilde, L.; Kwart, M.; Fresco, N.; Lovecraft, A.L. 2009. Vulnerability and adaptation to climate-related fire impacts in rural and urban interior Alaska. Polar Research. 28: 100-118.


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