Articles on Fire

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Indigenous Australians systematically burnt grasslands to reduce fuel and stop fires raging out of control. Flickr/pietroizzo

The biggest estate on earth: how Aborigines made Australia

Aboriginal people worked hard to make plants and animals abundant, convenient and predictable. By distributing plants and associating them in mosaics, then using these to lure and locate animals, Aborigines…
When it comes to weather, scientists and the media have different understandings of risk. Ameel Khan

Spinning uncertainty? The IPCC extreme weather report and the media

The “reasonable person” would agree that disaster risk is best avoided. Under a changing climate, how exposed people are to risk and how socially and physically vulnerable they are affects how often disasters…
We all want to know how bad the next fire season will be, but working it out isn’t easy. AFP/Torsten Blackwood

‘The worst fire season ever’ … until next year

Bushfires are part of the Australian landscape and the psyche of its human inhabitants. This is particularly true as months of hot, dry weather approach. Recent warnings have predicted a dire summer ahead…
Research done in South Africa can guide Australian conservation managers on where to focus effort. Brian van Wilgen

Spending to save: what’s the best use of our conservation dollar?

It’s true: many species will go extinct due to the direct and indirect impacts of climate change. We will have to make some hard decisions about where to invest conservation dollars for the best effect…
Bushfires are a greater risk in areas of human habitation than in alpine regions. AAP

Alpine grazing: let’s research fires where they pose most threat

Last summer, the Victorian government allowed cattle to graze in the Alpine National Park. They claimed it was part of a scientific trial to assess grazing as a tool to reduce fire risk. Now it seems there…

Burning mountains saves lizards

Lizard populations have been brought back in America’s Ozark glades through the burning of entire mountains and valleys…

Fire could drive climate change

Fire – one of nature’s primary carbon-cycling mechanisms – will become an increasingly important driver of atmospheric change…
Sea levels are expected to rise between 0.5m and 1m by 2100, potentially at great cost to coastal infrastructure. AAP

Fix climate by 2020 or face huge costs

Governments and communities must take urgent action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions this decade or face enormous social…
More extreme hot weather events are on the way, say the world’s top climate scientists. Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/lindenbaum.

More deadly heat waves coming, climate scientists warn

The world’s top climate scientists have warned that the heat waves that have killed thousands of people during recent summers…
Publicly funded scientists have a responsibility to the public. AAP

Science and alpine grazing: politics and responsibility

Australian science institutions and scientists must retain the confidence of the public and Australian governments. By blurring facts, disrespecting other institutions’ research processes and turning their…
Cattle grazing in Alpine National Park is not supported by science. foxypar4 on flickr

Science the loser in Victoria’s alpine grazing trial

In January, 400 cattle were released into Victoria’s Alpine National Park as part of a research trial to investigate the influence of strategic grazing as a tool to reduce fuel loads and bush fire risk…

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