skip to primary navigationskip to content

Fire: The Great Manipulator

last modified Jan 27, 2021 02:33 PM

Fire. It burns five percent of the Earth's surface every year, and accounts for up to twenty percent of total global greenhouse gas emissions. Before humans started interfering with the planet, the majority of carbon released by wildfires was recaptured as ecosystems regenerated. This is no longer the case.

For Adam Pellegrini, who has spent his career studying what happens when natural landscapes burn, the recent Californian wildfires are a glimpse of the future.

"The majority of increased fire activity we're seeing in coniferous forests is due to climate change," says Pellegrini. "The fire season is getting longer. Conditions are drier, so sparks are more likely to take hold and spread. Increases in drought, beetles and pathogens kill the trees and create more fuel. The combination can lead to really intense fires, which also cause more combustion in the soil."

You can read the complete article by Jacqueline Garget.

The Department has carried out a comprehensive COVID-19 risk assessment process and has opened to allow research work to take place. To ensure the safety of our staff, a range of measures to reduce building occupancy and allow strict social distancing have been introduced, including increased cleaning and hygiene regimes. We are currently not accepting visitors so please continue to contact us by email until further notice.