Wildfires and Climate Change

New York Times Logo
Galbraith, Kate. “Wildfires and Climate Change.” New York Times 4 Sep 2013.

“Global studies of wildfire patterns are rare. But a paper published last year in the journal Ecosphere predicted that climate change would have an effect on wildfires that varies widely, especially in accordance with a given region’s precipitation patterns.”

“The paper — which focused on climate change but not other variables, like changing land management — projected that dry parts of the middle latitudes and Australia are likely to see more fires over the long term. The American West, already a tinderbox, will become more fire-prone. So, too, will high-latitude areas, the study found, partly because the carbon-rich peat soil there will burn under extreme weather conditions.”

national geographic logo
Profeta, Tim. “Using the Clean Air Act to Regulate Carbon Emissions.” National Geographic 5 Sep 2013.
“A paper published last year in the journal Ecosphere came to a similar conclusion. It suggests that climate change’s effect on wildfires would vary widely, especially when precipitation patterns were factored in.”
Climate change and disruptions to global fire activity Max A. Moritz, Marc-André Parisien, Enric Batllori, Meg A. Krawchuk, Jeff Van Dorn, David J. Ganz, and Katharine Hayhoe. Ecosphere 2012 3:6, art49


Using fire to manage fire-prone regions around the world

Inaugural online-only Special Issue of Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment

 Media Advisory

For immediate release 14 August 2013

Contact: Nadine Lymn, (202) 833-8773, ext. 205; nadine@esa.org

Prescribed burn in Klamath National Forest CA. Credit: E. Knapp

Prescribed burn in Klamath National Forest CA. Credit: E. Knapp


The Ecological Society of America’s first online-only Special Issue of Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment showcases prescribed burns around the globe, some of them drawing on historical practices to manage forests and grasslands in fire-prone regions.

The Online Special Issue looks at fire practices in the United States, Australia, southern Europe, South Africa and South America. One review article focuses on the cooperative efforts of US ranchers in the Great Plains using fire to beat back juniper encroachment on native grasslands.  Another features traditional Aboriginal approaches to minimize greenhouse-gas emissions from savanna fires in northern Australia.  In South America, traditional Mayan practices to produce “forest gardens” are applied to create spaces within the forest for different kinds of crops while contributing to soil fertility and sustaining wildlife.  And in southern Europe, a significant challenge is contending with stringent laws that create obstacles for using managed burns to decrease wildfire risk and manage habitats for grazing and wildlife.

The August online-only issue of Frontiers is open access, as are all Frontiers Special Issues. Access Prescribed burning in fire-prone landscapes here or click on the titles below to go directly to an article.

Prescribed burning in southern Europe: developing fire management in a dynamic landscape

Prescribed fire in North American forests and woodlands: history, current practice, and challenges

Prescribed burning in southwestern Australian forests

Fire management in species-rich Cape fynbos shrublands

The Maya milpa: fire and the legacy of living soil

Managing fire regimes in north Australian savannas: applying Aboriginal approaches to contemporary global problems

The rising Great Plains fire campaign: citizens’ response to woody plant encroachment