The biggest source of lost forests is in Russia and Canada. It's not forest lost to deforestation, logging or clearing land for agriculture, but boreal forest consumed by wildfires. A climate change feedback? Probably.
Some 43,000 square kilometres of northern boreal forest were ravaged in Russia, due mainly to fires, in 2013, while Canada shed another 24,500 square kilometres — amounting to a "very significant" loss in tree cover, according to Dr. Nigel Sizer of GFW, an interactive, online forest-monitoring and alert system based in Washington.
The data comes from GFW, the University of Maryland and Google.
Both Canada and Russia have seen unusually numerous forest fires in recent years, something Sizer says might be attributed to factors including climate change.
It's hard to imagine this would be a shock in either country where even the tundra is thawing and being consumed by wildfires.
The loss of 25,000 sq. kms. of boreal forest is pretty massive but keep it in perspective. The province of Alberta, for example, has an area of 661,000 sq. kms. Nunavut is over 2-million sq. kms. Canada's lost boreal forest is more like five Prince Edward Islands (without five Mike Duffys).