Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Forest fires are becoming larger and more frequent

Terra Daily: Research in which scientists from Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) are participating analyzes the causes and characteristics of fires that have occurred in the Mediterranean basin in recent decades, and determines that rural exodus and changes in land use have increased the number and size of these fires.

The study, recently published in the journal Climatic Change, is the result of an interdisciplinary collaboration between two researchers: one is UC3M Professor Santiago Fernandez Munoz, who has worked in the area of geographic history under the direction of the Universidad Autonoma de Madrid Professor Josefina Gomez Mendoza; the other is Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas (CSIC - Spanish National Research Council) ecologist Juli Pausas.

Specifically, the authors constructed a complete database of historical fires in the province of Valencia in order to relate them to the evolution of the climate and societal and territorial transformations in the region.

The research that was carried out provides the most complete series of data on the evolution of fires in the Mediterranean basin to date...

Smoke from a 2009 wildfire in Greece, shot by Christos Loufopoulos, Wikimedia Commons via Flickr, under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license

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