IntroductionTemperatures

What About Fires?

Fires: What is the evidence?

The chart below shows fires in South America, compared to the 2001-2018 averages. 

There are increases, and decreases.

But importantly, the numbers only go back to 2001. Why? We just now have the technologies in place to monitor the global environment in a publicly accessible way. These measurement, visualization and simulation technologies are incredible, but we cannot reasonably assume that the changes we are witnessing, which are literally all over the map, are necessarily unstoppable, or necessarily bad. 

Fires are started by lightening, for instance, most commonly. There is also arson, as well as on-purpose burning, for land clearing, for example. But forest lands must be burnt, otherwise fuel for fires builds up, and if for too long, this means that when fires do eventually happen, as they must by nature, they will burn very hot, wiping out lots of wildlife in the process.

Controlled burns allow cooler fires, and let wildlife move out of the way, and return before long to reclaim their territories.

Even land clearing can have little long-term implications, so long as it is not too drastic, as in a tropical environment, the land returns to a forest state in a few short years. Having owned farmland in the tropics, which was cleared prior to purchase, and now ten years later is forest, this assertion has been personally witnessed.

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Ph.D. Meteorology
University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Principal Research Scientist at UoA
Former Senior Scientist for Climate Studies at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center

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Former Project Manager, CERN
Geneva, Switzerland

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