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Fire on earth


A new book by Professor Andrew C Scott, Distinguished Research Fellow, from the Department of Earth Sciences, was published in December 2013 and launched in San Francisco.

Entitled Fire on Earth: An Introduction, the full-colour text, containing more than 250 illustrations, is designed to provide a synthesis of contemporary thinking about fire on Earth. Earth is the only planet known to have fire. The reason is both simple and profound: fire exists because Earth is the only planet to possess life as we know it.  Fire on Earth puts fire in its rightful place as an integral part of the study of geology, biology, human history, physics and global chemistry.

This book brings together the most powerful concepts and disciplinary voices to examine, in an international setting, why planetary fire exists, how it works and why it looks the way it does today.

Students, lecturers, researchers and professionals interested in the physical, ecological and historical characteristics of fire will find this book and accompanying web-based material, essential reading for undergraduate and postgraduate courses in all related disciplines, for general interest and for providing an interdisciplinary foundation for further study.

You can order your copy from the Wiley website here

Book website now live. Click here for 250 free downloadable colour images from the book and other materials:www.wiley.com/go/scott/fireonearth

Interactive content



Andrew Scott discusses the importance of charcoal remaining after a local wildfire in Surrey in this podcast

Find out more about the significance of charcoal from both modern and ancient fires with these interactive pages containing not only images but also podcasts and videos.

Find out more about his work here

Fire & the Earth 


Find out how our future will be shaped by fire in this news article and about our research programme.
Also, listen to a discussion on human's relationship with fire on BBC radio 4's Material World

Fire in deep time

Fire in deep time

Check out our news article and the BBC's story as well as our research project about fire in deep time.


Fire and flowers

Fire and flowers

Read our story about fire aiding the spread of the earliest flowering plants and the BBC's take on the research.

Fire and oxygen

Fire and oxygen

Find out about how variations in the Earth's oxygen levels are linked to evolution through our news article, a BBC story and a radio discussion.

Fire and impact

fire and impact

Discover why doubt was cast on the theory that a giant comet wiped out the mammoths in our stories about prehistoric humans, the impact hypothesis and climate change. Read the BBC's take on the research too.

More interactive content, in the form of videos and teaching resources, will be coming soon. 



Find out more about the author

Read about Professor Andrew Scott's background and career in our Higher magazine (pg 26).


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