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Selection: Bowman:D [5 articles] 

Publications by author Bowman:D.
 

Wildfire science is at a loss for comprehensive data

  
Nature, Vol. 560, No. 7716. (31 July 2018), pp. 7-7, https://doi.org/10.1038/d41586-018-05840-4

Abstract

An international monitoring initiative is crucial for understanding wildfires and reducing their damage, says David Bowman. [Excerpt] [...] we can say little for certain about trends in wildfires worldwide. Data are too scant to say conclusively whether fires are becoming more destructive. If humans are to live sustainably on flammable landscapes, we need a global system for collecting data on fires to gain a coherent picture and assess strategies. [...] Yet the strong links between humans and flammable landscapes make fire a ...

 

Climate-vegetation-fire interactions and feedbacks: trivial detail or major barrier to projecting the future of the Earth system?

  
Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change, Vol. 7, No. 6. (1 November 2016), pp. 910-931, https://doi.org/10.1002/wcc.428

Abstract

Fire is a complex process involving interactions and feedbacks between biological, socioeconomic, and physical drivers across multiple spatial and temporal scales. This complexity limits our ability to incorporate fire into Earth system models and project future fire activity under climate change. Conceptual, empirical, and process models have identified the mechanisms and processes driving fire regimes, and provide a useful basis to consider future fire activity. However, these models generally deal with only one component of fire regimes, fire frequency, and do ...

 

Climate-induced variations in global wildfire danger from 1979 to 2013

  
Nature Communications, Vol. 6 (14 July 2015), 7537, https://doi.org/10.1038/ncomms8537

Abstract

Climate strongly influences global wildfire activity, and recent wildfire surges may signal fire weather-induced pyrogeographic shifts. Here we use three daily global climate data sets and three fire danger indices to develop a simple annual metric of fire weather season length, and map spatio-temporal trends from 1979 to 2013. We show that fire weather seasons have lengthened across 29.6 million km2 (25.3%) of the Earth’s vegetated surface, resulting in an 18.7% increase in global mean fire weather season length. We also show a ...

 

The human dimension of fire regimes on Earth

  
Journal of Biogeography, Vol. 38, No. 12. (2011), pp. 2223-2236, https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2699.2011.02595.x

Abstract

Humans and their ancestors are unique in being a fire-making species, but ‘natural’ (i.e. independent of humans) fires have an ancient, geological history on Earth. Natural fires have influenced biological evolution and global biogeochemical cycles, making fire integral to the functioning of some biomes. Globally, debate rages about the impact on ecosystems of prehistoric human-set fires, with views ranging from catastrophic to negligible. Understanding of the diversity of human fire regimes on Earth in the past, present and future remains rudimentary. ...

 

Feedbacks and landscape-level vegetation dynamics

  
Trends in Ecology & Evolution, Vol. 30, No. 5. (10 May 2015), pp. 255-260, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tree.2015.03.005

Abstract

[::] Landscape-level feedbacks are critical for understanding of the risk of rapid switching between ecological states, such as forest and savanna biomes. [::] These feedbacks are difficult to study because the spatial and temporal scales preclude classical experiment approaches. [::] We suggest that identifying and understanding the role of landscape-level feedbacks demands a synthetic approach that blends observational, experimental, model-based approaches, conceptual models, and narratives. [\n] Alternative stable-state theory (ASS) is widely accepted as explaining landscape-level vegetation dynamics, such as switches between forest and ...

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