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Vegetation fires in the Anthropocene

Citation

Bowman, DMJS and Kolden, CA and Abatzoglou, JT and Johnston, FH and van der Werf, GR and Flannigan, M, Vegetation fires in the Anthropocene, Nature Reviews Earth & Environment pp. 1-16. ISSN 2662-138X (2020) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2020 Springer Nature Limited

DOI: doi:10.1038/s43017-020-0085-3

Abstract

Vegetation fires are an essential component of the Earth system but can also cause substantial economic losses, severe air pollution, human mortality and environmental damage. Contemporary fire regimes are increasingly impacted by human activities and climate change, but, owing to the complex fire–human–climate interactions and incomplete historical or long-term datasets, it is difficult to detect and project fire-regime trajectories. In this Review, we describe recent global and regional trends in fire activity and examine projections for fire regimes in the near future. Although there are large uncertainties, it is likely that the economic and environmental impacts of vegetation fires will worsen as a result of anthropogenic climate change. These effects will be particularly prominent in flammable forests in populated temperate zones, the sparsely inhabited flammable boreal zone and fire-sensitive tropical rainforests, and will contribute to greenhouse gas emissions. The impacts of increased fire activity can be mitigated through effective stewardship of fire regimes, which should be achieved through evidence-based fire management that incorporates indigenous and local knowledge, combined with planning and design of natural and urban landscapes. Increasing transdisciplinary research is needed to fully understand how Anthropocene fire regimes are changing and how humans must adapt.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:pyrogeography, fire management, climate change
Research Division:Agricultural, Veterinary and Food Sciences
Research Group:Forestry sciences
Research Field:Forestry fire management
Objective Division:Environmental Policy, Climate Change and Natural Hazards
Objective Group:Understanding climate change
Objective Field:Understanding climate change not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Bowman, DMJS (Professor David Bowman)
UTAS Author:Johnston, FH (Associate Professor Fay Johnston)
ID Code:141122
Year Published:2020
Deposited By:Plant Science
Deposited On:2020-09-26
Last Modified:2020-10-23
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