Boreal Biome

The Taiga or Boreal Forest 

World's Largest Land Biome

Is a biome characterized by coniferous forests consisting mostly of pines, spruces, and larches. The ecozone principally spans 8 countries: Canada, China, Finland, Japan, Norway, Russia, Sweden and the United States. The Boreal Biome or Taiga covers 17 million square kilometres (6.6 million square miles) or 11.5% of the Earth's land area, second only to deserts and xeric shrublands. The largest areas are located in Russia and Canada.

White spruce taiga in the Alaska

Taiga or Boreal Forest Land Coverage

Siberian Taiga

The circumboreal belt of forest represents about 30% of the global forest area, contains more surface freshwater than any other biome, and has large tracts of unmanaged forests across the high-latitude regions of Canada, Russia, and the United States. From a biological perspective, boreal forests are defined as forests growing in high-latitude environments where freezing temperatures occur for 6 to 8 months and in which trees are capable of reaching a minimum height of 5 m and a canopy cover of 10%.

North America Boreal Forest

June 2023, NYC smoke from the Canadian Boreal Forest burning. Photo Credit Gary Hershorn / Getty Images. 

A snowballing heat effect appears to have begun. Yet humanity holds on to the past with no real response, only jokes about increasing heat effects. Mass famine could start to occur in the next 20 years across the Earth, and with that a collapse of the world's economies.

Climate Change in the Boreal Forest

During its relatively brief history since deglaciation, the boreal forest has experienced many fluctuations of its climatic environment. The current warming trend experienced by northern latitudes is, however, unprecedented in its speed and projected amplitude, and is also more pronounced than in the rest of the world. Resulting impacts are numerous and include the melting of permafrost, changes in tree growth rates, increased incidences of wildland fire, and changes in the dynamics of insect outbreaks. The causal links among these changes and their implications for the functioning of the boreal forest and the services it provides to local and global populations are not yet completely understood.