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The spectre of wildfire and climate change

The spectre of wildfire and climate change

  • Date16 December 2020

Professor Andrew C. Scott

Charcoal fragments are often small, black, and lack obvious characteristics. Most people would not even recognize them if they were to come across one. Earth scientists, led by Professor Andrew C. Scott at Royal Holloway, have been building up the story of fire through time by examining these fragments embedded in rocks throughout the world. They have demonstrated the significance of fire as part of the Earth System in terms of the relationship between fire and the evolution of the atmosphere, fire and climate change as well as how fire may influence plant evolution. Wildfire research has been widely used to help governments and other agencies understand to role of wildfire in today’s world. In a podcast for the United Nations International Disaster Reduction Day Professor Scott describes the Royal Holloway research and talks about the current wildfire challenges with respect to future climate change.

Podcast link: https://theearthproject.world/the-earth-project-events/international-disaster-risk-reduction-day/.

In another written piece he also discusses the changes that are occurring in wildfire behaviour with climate change and the challenges that they provide.

Article link: https://www.zocalopublicsquare.org/2020/11/12/history-of-wildfire/ideas/essay

As is pointed out by Professor Scott in his recent book on fire “We all need to think about fire – after all where would we be without it.”

Read about the impact of this work here: https://royalholloway.ac.uk/research-and-teaching/research/research-impact/explore-our-research-impact/changing-public-and-political-perceptions-of-wildfire/

Professor Scott is the author of Burning Planet – the story of fire through time and Fire: A very short introduction both published by Oxford University Press.

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