Fire in the Earth system

By: , and 



Fire is a worldwide phenomenon that appears in the geological record soon after the appearance of terrestrial plants. Fire influences global ecosystem patterns and processes, including vegetation distribution and structure, the carbon cycle, and climate. Although humans and fire have always coexisted, our capacity to manage fire remains imperfect and may become more difficult in the future as climate change alters fire regimes. This risk is difficult to assess, however, because fires are still poorly represented in global models. Here, we discuss some of the most important issues involved in developing a better understanding of the role of fire in the Earth system.

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Fire in the Earth system
Series title Science
DOI 10.1126/science.1163886
Volume 324
Issue 5926
Year Published 2009
Language English
Publisher Science
Contributing office(s) Western Ecological Research Center
Description 4 p.
First page 481
Last page 484
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