The Influence of Fuels, Climate and Ignition on Fire Frequency Across Earth’s Ecosystems
Fire is a critical catalyst of climate and vegetation change across the globe. Future shifts in fire regimes may alter ecosystems on a global scale. Yet, modeling efforts largely ignore fire in global vegetation and climate projections. Therefore, I propose to synthesize published data on fuel production, climate, and ignition sources with reconstructed fire histories, either from charcoal sediments or fire-scars captured in annual tree rings. With this compiled information I will investigate the determinants of fire frequency across different ecosystems. Rather than gauge how fire influences the Earth System, I plan to assess the factors that control the global fire cycle. This fire-centric approach will illuminate the living and non-living factors that increase fire frequency. Moreover, the results will provide insights into historical fire patterns and bolster predictions of future fire regimes in an era of accelerating global land-cover and climate change.
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