The role and impact of fire in the Earth system across spatial and temporal scales
Convener: Elisabeth DietzeECSECS | Co-conveners: Alysha Inez CoppolaECSECS, Gitta Lasslop, Cathelijne Stoof, Sander Veraverbeke
| Wed, 06 May, 10:45–12:30 (CEST)

Recent record-breaking wildfires in the Arctic, boreal forests, the Mediterranean and, at the same time, human-driven decreases in burned area in savanna ecosystems show the need of an increased understanding of the drivers and impacts of fire regime changes under ongoing and future land management and climate changes. Fire is part of the Earth system since the evolution of terrestrial biomass 420 million years ago. Despite being a risk to many human societies today, fire has played an important role in human evolution and as a tool and target in land management for millennia. However, its role in biogeochemical cycles and ecosystem dynamics across various spatiotemporal scales is still poorly constrained, partly due to its complex feedbacks with climate and vegetation. The influence of fire on the atmosphere, vegetation, soil properties, hydrological and biogeochemical cycles and the impact on society require inter- to transdisciplinary research approaches. This symposium aims to provide state-of-the-art perspectives on the feedbacks and impacts of fires from the different fields. Leading experts in fire observations and modelling as well as post-fire impacts on local to global and across temporal scales will provide insights on key processes, drivers and important links of fire in the natural and human-shaped environments.

Public information:
Updated schedule!
10:45–10:50 Introduction
10:50–11:05 David Bowman: Adaptive thinking and the global fire crisis
11:05–11:20 Fay Johnston: Landscape fires and public health
11:20–11:35 Guido van der Werf: Fire - climate interactions in a warming world
11:35–11:50 Cristina Santin: After the fire: biogeochemical effects of charcoal & ash on fire-affected landscapes
11:50–12:05 Orsolya Valkó: The contradictory role of fire from the nature conservation perspective
12:05–12:30 Discussion

This session is now available as a recorded online-webinar: