Fire in the Tropics

The tropics are key to global biogeo-chemical cycles, host the greatest range of ecosystems and biodiversity, and are central to the United Nations REDD+ forest and climate protection programme. Satellite data suggest they contain ~80% of the ~3.5 million km2 of land burned annually worldwide. But the heterogeneous character of tropical wildfires, ranging from vast savanna burning to deforestation and peatland fires, means they remain poorly quantified. This Strand includes projects that aim to develop novel methods in order to study the drivers and impacts of wildfires in specific tropical regions that of particular interest and poorly understood.

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Fire in the North

Boreal regions remain a central mystery for the future of our planet. Climate change is occurring most rapidly at these high latitudes, helping to increase the frequency, size, and severity of wildfires in the vast circumpolar boreal forests, which comprise 29% of global forest cover. Beyond their impacts on local communities, shifting fire regimes across the North may trigger other changes in major biome distributions and carbon sources and sinks that could accelerate global climate change. In this Strand, we have designed projects that study changing fire regimes at northern regions, the sociopolitical causes and implications of such changes, and their effects on global carbon budgets and climate change.

Ravindra_Khaiwal_Rice_Stubble_Chandigarh_2019_2

Fire at the Wildland-Urban Interface

Human settlements at the Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI) are expanding worldwide, exposing more people and property to wildfire risks that are complex to assess and difficult to manage. In places such as the US and Australia, as in Greece, Spain, and Portugal, most of the direct economic losses from the recent wildfires (and all of the fatalities) occurred at the WUI. The drivers of WUI wildfire are contested, as are the potential steps for reducing risk. In this Strand of projects, we will conduct comparative case studies linking the physical reality to the social and institutional context of land-use and fire management in order to tease out the causes of wildfire risk, as well as understand the optimum ways of managing wildfires at different WUI contexts in the future.

Ravindra_Khaiwal_Rice_Stubble_Chandigarh_2019_3

Fire in Global Systems

Wildfires influence the carbon cycle, atmospheric chemistry and air quality, climate, ecosystems, and economies. Regional differences in the environmental, ecological, economic and policy contexts of fire are exceedingly important, but ultimately have to be understood in a global context – considering how human activities influence and are conditioned by global economic and environmental systems and services. Furthermore, given its influence on so many environmental processes, wildfire must be represented in Earth System models realistically. This Strand includes a range of projects that aim to integrate all the region-specific knowledge and information obtained from the other strands, in order to understand fire and its consequences from a global perspective.

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Using a Low-Cost PM2.5 Sensor Network to Quantify Air Quality Impacts of Agricultural Biomass Burning in the Upper ASEAN region and to Validate Global and Regional Atmospheric Model Output

Global and regional atmospheric models suggest that every spring, air quality in parts of Northern Southeast Asia is amongst the worst in the world,...

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Understanding the trade-offs between traditional and government approaches to fire management in the savannah woodlands of northern Ghana

Despite the scientific evidence as well as the nuanced cultural, spiritual, ecological and economic importance of fires for local communities in...

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Physical and socio-economic drivers of changing fire dynamics in Ethiopia’s drylands and impacts on ecosystem services

Fire is a critical component of the ecology of African savannas and it is used by humans as a tool for rangeland management Across much of northern...

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Tropical Cyclone and Wildfire Interactions

Tropical storms and wildfires are destructive natural phenomena in both ecological and socioeconomic terms Many environmental factors that affect...

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Assessing social and ecological drivers of fire regimes in the Brazilian Amazon in the context of changing forest governance

While deforestation rates have decreased dramatically over the 2005-2015 period, forest degradation resulting from logging and wildfires became the...

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Contested fire management in India’s forests

Fire is a critical component of many agricultural and livestock-based land-use systems in the Global South where its management benefits from...

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Corporate and financial actors’ impacts on deforestation and forest fires in the tropics

Current land use practices and consumption patterns are increasingly impacting land systems, putting natural resources under greater pressure and...

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Long-term interactions between vegetation, fire and human impact in Guyana

The first part of the project is associated with the contribution to the global data collection effort and meta-analyses within the Centre,...

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Community-based Fire Management: A colonial narrative?

In East and Southern African savannas, there has been observed an increasing size and intensity of wildfires in Protected Areas (PAs) where human...

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Agent-Based methods for representing anthropogenic fire in Dynamic Global Vegetation Models (DGVMs)

This PhD aims to examine how behavioural modelling may provide the basis for improved representations of anthropogenic fire impacts in global-scale...

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Farmers burning practices and conservation in Mozambique

There is growing interest in understanding how small-scale farmers in different parts of the world organise their agricultural and land-burning...

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Indigenous fire management and protected areas in Guyana

Recent studies show that Indigenous peoples manage or have tenure rights over a quarter of the world’s land surface, which intersects with over...

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Developing and adopting experimental capabilities for studying the physical aspects of wildfires and their emissions

Wildfires and other forms of landscape burning are complex, dynamic and in some ways difficult to predict and certainly potentially dangerous...

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Regional modelling for the study of air quality degradation from wildfire emissions

Wildfires and other forms of landscape burning turn solid material held in vegetation and organic soil into a complex mix of airborne gases and...

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High-latitude fires and the future of Earth’s climate

In high-latitude regions, larger and more frequent fires have been documented over the last years, and it is expected to increase further due to...

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Smouldering peat fire in the Arctic

Recent Arctic wildfires have burned previously unheard-of expanses of land and released significant amounts of prehistoric carbon into the atmosphere...

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The impact of anthropogenic land-use changes on fire regimes during the Holocene

The extent on anthropogenic influence on fire regimes throughout the Holocene period is currently an open question Whereas global and regional...

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Investigating the potential impacts of smoke from landscape fires on migratory insects

Landscape burnings, including wildfires and fires purposely lit for clearing or managing land, are widespread globally, occurring in almost all...

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The role of peat fires in shaping future atmospheric composition, the carbon cycle and climate

Peat fires are some of the largest and most persistent fires on Earth Globally peatlands store approximately 25% of the World’s soil carbon, and...

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Future Climate Change Impact on Wildfire Danger over the Mediterranean: the case of Greece

Recent studies have shown that temperature and precipitation in the Mediterranean are expected to change, indicating longer and more intense summer...

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Spatial variability in Holocene wildfire responses to environmental change in the northern extratropics

The northern extratropics has experienced increases in fire activity in recent decades, which have had important consequences for ecosystems,...

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Developing and adopting experimental capabilities for studying the physical aspects of wildfires and their emissions

Wildfires and other forms of landscape burning are complex, dynamic and in some ways difficult to predict and certainly potentially dangerous...

See details

Regional modelling for the study of air quality degradation from wildfire emissions

Wildfires and other forms of landscape burning turn solid material held in vegetation and organic soil into a complex mix of airborne gases and...

See details

Machine Learning and Data Assimilation for Accurate Wildfire Predictions and Estimations.

Twitter is increasingly being used as a real-time human-sensor network during natural disasters, detecting, tracking and documenting these events...

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Policy and Fires – do politicians’ incentives and priorities affect wildfires occurrence?

Fire suppression policy legacy, human settlement, and human-driven climate change have been enhancing fire activity worldwide The budgetary...

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Increasing the Wildfire Safety of Southern European Buildings

Wildfire frequency and intensity is in turn increasing the wildfire exposure of embers, radiative heat and flames on the built environment...

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Agent-Based methods for representing anthropogenic fire in Dynamic Global Vegetation Models (DGVMs)

This PhD aims to examine how behavioural modelling may provide the basis for improved representations of anthropogenic fire impacts in global-scale...

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Economic, social and institutional drivers of wildfire management

This project aims to quantify the damages from wildfires using economic valuation methods, specifically stated preference valuation methods...

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Developing and adopting experimental capabilities for studying the physical aspects of wildfires and their emissions

Wildfires and other forms of landscape burning are complex, dynamic and in some ways difficult to predict and certainly potentially dangerous...

See details

Regional modelling for the study of air quality degradation from wildfire emissions

Wildfires and other forms of landscape burning turn solid material held in vegetation and organic soil into a complex mix of airborne gases and...

See details

Optimality approaches linking fire-related plant traits and ecosystem responses to climate change

Plants in fire-prone ecosystems have evolved a variety of mechanisms to resist or adapt to fire Post-fire resprouting is a key adaptation, promoting...

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Studies of wildfire impact on atmospheric composition and climate on a global scale

This project aims to: investigate atmospheric composition impacts of fire on a global scale and evaluate models’ ability to capture them...

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Role of fire emissions in present and future atmospheric composition-climate feedbacks

The objective of this PhD project is the development and application of a fully coupled fire-composition-climate Earth system model to quantify the...

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Quantifying the radiative impacts of African landscape fires across multiple temporal and spatial scales

Wildfires play a fundamental role in the Earth system  Globally, an area of the order 350 Mha is burned on an annual basis, with substantial...

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Nowcasting the risks of wildfire

Wildfire represents an increasing risk to people and property There is concern that if present trends continue, the risks to insurance and...

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Exploring the connections between wildfires and climate

Wildfires are integral part of global ecosystems At the same time, they pose a threat for the manmade environment and constitute a major CO2 emission...

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Global data collation and analysis of fire practices within smallholder and subsistence-oriented livelihoods

Controlled fire use plays an important contemporary role in sustaining human cultures and livelihoods and fire-dependent ecosystems, as well as...

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Climate, air quality and human health impacts of tropical aerosol emissions

This PhD project is looking at the effects of changing tropical aerosol emissions, including from fire, on climate and human health We use different...

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Hyperspectral and thermal remote sensing of landscape fire properties

In recent years wildfires have made headlines in Australia, California, continental Europe and even the UK, and satellite data are the only way to...

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Predicting the ecological impacts of future fire activity on a global scale

This PhD project aims to explore global drivers of burnt area (BA) in order to improve the way BA is modelled by the INFERNO fire model The INFERNO...

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Machine learning for wildfire forecasting accuracy

Real-time forecasting of wildfire dynamics which raises increasing attention recently in fire safety science world-widely, is extremely challenging...

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Developing a global wildfire taxonomy

This is an advanced data analysis project, requiring extensive hands-on experience with Earth Observation (EO) data from multiple platforms and...

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Developing global modelling capabilities to represent wildfires in the Earth system

The focus of this project is to interact with all project scientists in order to continuously develop and advance our capabilities in global...

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Advancing and harmonising Earth Observation data capabilities for wildfire science

Landscape fire burns across, on average, more than 35 million km2 of Earth's surface every year, equivalent to roughly the entire area of India This...

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Developing fire-spread equations for large-scale modelling

This PhD project aims to devise a simplified, generic version of the fire-spread algorithm used operationally by the US and other fire services, and...

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CO2 impacts on past and future fire regimes and their consequences for biodiversity

Much of the discussion of the drivers of recent changes in fire regimes has focused on the impact of climate change and anthropogenic activities...

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Regional modelling for the study of air quality degradation from wildfire emissions

Wildfires and other forms of landscape burning turn solid material held in vegetation and organic soil into a complex mix of airborne gases and...

See details

Palaeofire data and model simulations

This core Palaeofire project will be central for the analysis of changes in fire regimes in response to past environmental and climate changes,...

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The tropics are key to global biogeo-chemical cycles, host the greatest range of ecosystems and biodiversity, and are central to the United Nations REDD+ forest and climate protection programme. Satellite data suggest they contain ~80% of the ~3.5 million km2 of land burned annually worldwide. But the heterogeneous character of tropical wildfires, ranging from vast savanna burning to deforestation and peatland fires, means they remain poorly quantified. This Strand includes projects that aim to develop novel methods in order to study the drivers and impacts of wildfires in specific tropical regions that of particular interest and poorly understood.

Long-term interactions between vegetation, fire and human impact in Guyana

See details

Indigenous fire management and protected areas in Guyana

See details

Developing and adopting experimental capabilities for studying the physical aspects of wildfires and their emissions

See details

Agent-Based methods for representing anthropogenic fire in Dynamic Global Vegetation Models (DGVMs)

See details

Farmers burning practices and conservation in Mozambique

See details

Agent-Based methods for representing anthropogenic fire in Dynamic Global Vegetation Models (DGVMs)

See details

Regional modelling for the study of air quality degradation from wildfire emissions

See details

Assessing social and ecological drivers of fire regimes in the Brazilian Amazon in the context of changing forest governance

See details

Corporate and financial actors’ impacts on deforestation and forest fires in the tropics

See details

Corporate and financial actors’ impacts on deforestation and forest fires in the tropics

See details

Understanding the trade-offs between traditional and government approaches to fire management in the savannah woodlands of northern Ghana

See details

Physical and socio-economic drivers of changing fire dynamics in Ethiopia’s drylands and impacts on ecosystem services

See details

Community-based Fire Management: A colonial narrative?

See details

Community-based Fire Management: A colonial narrative?

See details

Community-based Fire Management: A colonial narrative?

See details

Community-based Fire Management: A colonial narrative?

See details

Community-based Fire Management: A colonial narrative?

See details

Corporate and financial actors’ impacts on deforestation and forest fires in the tropics

See details

Regional modelling for the study of air quality degradation from wildfire emissions

See details

Contested fire management in India’s forests

See details

Regional modelling for the study of air quality degradation from wildfire emissions

See details

Corporate and financial actors’ impacts on deforestation and forest fires in the tropics

See details

Corporate and financial actors’ impacts on deforestation and forest fires in the tropics

See details

Using a Low-Cost PM2.5 Sensor Network to Quantify Air Quality Impacts of Agricultural Biomass Burning in the Upper ASEAN region and to Validate Global and Regional Atmospheric Model Output

See details

Using a Low-Cost PM2.5 Sensor Network to Quantify Air Quality Impacts of Agricultural Biomass Burning in the Upper ASEAN region and to Validate Global and Regional Atmospheric Model Output

See details

Using a Low-Cost PM2.5 Sensor Network to Quantify Air Quality Impacts of Agricultural Biomass Burning in the Upper ASEAN region and to Validate Global and Regional Atmospheric Model Output

See details

Boreal regions remain a central mystery for the future of our planet. Climate change is occurring most rapidly at these high latitudes, helping to increase the frequency, size, and severity of wildfires in the vast circumpolar boreal forests, which comprise 29% of global forest cover. Beyond their impacts on local communities, shifting fire regimes across the North may trigger other changes in major biome distributions and carbon sources and sinks that could accelerate global climate change. In this Strand, we have designed projects that study changing fire regimes at northern regions, the sociopolitical causes and implications of such changes, and their effects on global carbon budgets and climate change.

Developing and adopting experimental capabilities for studying the physical aspects of wildfires and their emissions

See details

Future Climate Change Impact on Wildfire Danger over the Mediterranean: the case of Greece

See details

Regional modelling for the study of air quality degradation from wildfire emissions

See details

Spatial variability in Holocene wildfire responses to environmental change in the northern extratropics

See details

Spatial variability in Holocene wildfire responses to environmental change in the northern extratropics

See details

The impact of anthropogenic land-use changes on fire regimes during the Holocene

See details

Spatial variability in Holocene wildfire responses to environmental change in the northern extratropics

See details

Regional modelling for the study of air quality degradation from wildfire emissions

See details

Regional modelling for the study of air quality degradation from wildfire emissions

See details

Human settlements at the Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI) are expanding worldwide, exposing more people and property to wildfire risks that are complex to assess and difficult to manage. In places such as the US and Australia, as in Greece, Spain, and Portugal, most of the direct economic losses from the recent wildfires (and all of the fatalities) occurred at the WUI. The drivers of WUI wildfire are contested, as are the potential steps for reducing risk. In this Strand of projects, we will conduct comparative case studies linking the physical reality to the social and institutional context of land-use and fire management in order to tease out the causes of wildfire risk, as well as understand the optimum ways of managing wildfires at different WUI contexts in the future.

Developing and adopting experimental capabilities for studying the physical aspects of wildfires and their emissions

See details

Agent-Based methods for representing anthropogenic fire in Dynamic Global Vegetation Models (DGVMs)

See details

Agent-Based methods for representing anthropogenic fire in Dynamic Global Vegetation Models (DGVMs)

See details

Economic, social and institutional drivers of wildfire management

See details

Regional modelling for the study of air quality degradation from wildfire emissions

See details

Machine Learning and Data Assimilation for Accurate Wildfire Predictions and Estimations.

See details

Machine Learning and Data Assimilation for Accurate Wildfire Predictions and Estimations.

See details

Policy and Fires – do politicians’ incentives and priorities affect wildfires occurrence?

See details

Increasing the Wildfire Safety of Southern European Buildings

See details

Increasing the Wildfire Safety of Southern European Buildings

See details

Regional modelling for the study of air quality degradation from wildfire emissions

See details

Regional modelling for the study of air quality degradation from wildfire emissions

See details