Global Warming Causes Wildfires and Vice Versa – Scientists Warn of Changes in Climate Vegetation and Possible Extinctions

Global Warming Causes Wildfires and Vice Versa – Scientists Warn of Changes in Climate Vegetation and Possible Extinctions

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Researchers at the Third International Fire Ecology and Management Congress in San Diego said that global warming could fuel ferocious wild-land fires in parts of the world. This could disrupt ecosystems and possibly cause extinctions of native plants and animals.

The scientists say that “now is the time for us to develop and adopt fire management strategies that will enable us to respond to a changing global climate and thereby reduce potential disruptions to plant communities, fire regimes and, ultimately, the ecosystem processes and services tied to fire.”

Conditions that were once considered rare are now more frequent, and the researchers say this is due to climate change. Extreme wildfire events where high heat is released from the fire and longer fire seasons could even exacerbate “further climate change”.

They said that fires will become the primary agent of vegetation change in many natural ecosystems, which could cause temperate dry forests to be converted to grasslands or moist tropical forests could be converted to dry woodlands.

The scientists acknowledge that there is an uncertainty in their projections. But they caution: “Without taking action to restore fire-dependent ecosystems today and, in the absence of thoughtful preparation and planning for the future, wildland fires will become increasingly difficult to manage.”

The meeting continues through Friday and has attracted thousands of scientists, firefighters and fire professionals from 25 countries.

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By Tom Madison
Best Syndication Writer

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