Fire impacts climate more than land use

Fire-induced changes to ecosystems have a greater impact on the climate than land-use and land-cover change, according to researchers in China and the US.

The study is the first to quantify the global impact of fire by its effect on ecosystems, rather than by its emission of trace gases and aerosols. Fire-induced changes to ecosystems boosted surface air temperatures by 0.18°C above the 20th century average, the researchers found.

“Our work is critical to improve our understanding of fire’s role in the Earth system as well as the potential broader impact of fire management, and to provide a direct reason supporting why Earth system models should include fire modelling for global research agendas,” said Fang Li of the Institute of Atmospheric Physics at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing. […]

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