Carly Phillips

Kendall Science Fellow

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Carly Phillips is the Kendall Fellow for Protecting Carbon in Alaska’s Boreal Forests with the Climate & Energy program at the Union of Concerned Scientists. Her work focuses on protecting carbon in boreal forests, specifically as wildfires increasingly threaten these ecosystems in Alaska. Dr. Phillips is leading a two-year collaboration between UCS and the Woods Hole Research Center that combines predictive modeling with economic analysis to weigh the cost of fire suppression against the social cost of large-scale carbon release. See Carly's full bio.

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Carly's Latest Posts

Forest Service Photo by Kari Greer

U.S. West Faces a Grim Summer as Red Flag Fire and COVID-19 Warnings Mount

Across the Western US, surges of COVID-19 cases are colliding with wildfires. New warnings that states with the highest number of cases in the country are now facing immediate fire risk mean the picture is about to get grimmer for this region. Read more >

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Forest Service Photo by Kari Greer

COVID-19 Collision with the 2020 Fire Season Will Ignite Multiple Threats

The inevitable collision of wildfires and COVID-19 keeps me up at night. Not in an abstract sense, but more in a requires-allergy-meds-to-sleep type of way. Too many people are suffering already due to COVID-19, and the quickly approaching wildfire season, worsened by climate change, is going to make things so much worse. Sadly, we’re already seeing these intersections play out in real time in Florida, where fires are causing evacuation orders across the Panhandle. Read more >

Forest Service Photo by Kari Greer
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What do Alaska Wildfires Mean for Global Climate Change?

During the (on-going) 2019 fire season, over 2 million acres have burned – an area roughly equivalent to that of Yellowstone National Park. In comparison to many fires in the conterminous United States, many fires in Alaska burn far away from population centers, and as such can be fought and responded to differently. However, to put the alarming nature of this season in context, the 2019 fire season in Alaska has already burned greater acreage than ALL fires in California during 2018 (~1.8 million acres), the year of the devastating Camp, Woolsey, and Carr fires. Read more >

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How Alaska’s Recent Heat Wave May Worsen Climate Warming

Over the holiday weekend, three cities in Alaska experienced record heat with temperatures in Anchorage reaching 90°F. In a city where local July temperatures averaged 61°F in 2018, this extreme heat illustrates the dramatic effects of climate change in northern regions of the world. These record-breaking temperatures, however, could further intensify climate warming by priming Alaskan landscapes to release carbon and heat-trapping gases in two major ways. Read more >

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Winning at Climate Change: an Arctic and Boreal Story

Climate change is definitely not a competition, but if it were, arctic tundra and boreal forests would be crushing it by getting hotter and changing faster than the rest of the world. Read more >

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