At EGU 2018, two dedicated meetings addressing vegetation fires will be held:


Interactions between fire, the Earth system and humans across time and space

Convener: Gitta Lasslop

Co-Conveners: Alysha Coppola, Angelica Feurdean, Stijn Hantson, Cristina Santin, Sander Veraverbeke

Fire is a global phenomenon influencing ecosystem patterns, carbon stocks and fluxes, and atmospheric composition, with a large impact on human health, safety and economy. Our understanding on drivers of fire occurrence has considerably improved over the last decades and has highlighted climate, vegetation and humans as key drivers. Considerable uncertainty remains on the relative importance of these drivers and how they vary across spatial and temporal scales. A multiscale assessment of fire behaviour is imperative: climate-fire feedbacks, for example, operate at continental to global scales, whereas vegetation and human interactions with fire may require local/scale approaches. The response of ecosystems to meteorological conditions usually takes place on the short time scale, while adaptation of plant traits to the environment is slow.

There are many pathways in which fire affects the Earth system, one of the most important being its impact on the carbon cycle. Pyrogenic carbon (also known as black carbon, charcoal, soot) is increasingly seen as an important player in the global carbon cycle, although many uncertainties still exist concerning reservoir sizes, and losses and fluxes between land, rivers, the ocean and the atmosphere.

The aim of this session is to improve the understanding of interactions between fire, the Earth system and humans. We invite contributions developing or using remote sensing datasets, in situ observations, charcoal records, laboratory experiments and modelling approaches. We welcome studies that help to improve our understanding of (1) the relative importance of climate, vegetation composition and humans on fire occurrence (frequency and area burned) across spatial and temporal scales (2) the impacts of fire on properties of vegetation (composition, structure and traits), atmosphere and society, (3) feedbacks between fire, vegetation and climate, (4) the role of fire in the carbon cycle, with special focus on the transfer of pyrogenic carbon from terrestrial ecosystems to aquatic environments, as well as its biogeochemical fate in these environments.

Invited speakers:

  • Douglas Morton, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
  • Samuel Abiven, Univ. of Zurich



Spatial and temporal patterns of wildfires: models, theory, and reality (co-organized)

Convener: Mário Pereira
Co-Conveners: Ricardo Trigo, Marj Tonini, Nikos Koutsias

Wildfires are the result of a large variety of interacting natural and anthropogenic components, which produce patterns that vary significantly both in space and in time.

In this context, this session will examine models, theory, empirical studies, new and innovative technologies for wildfire research as well as the relation between atmospheric circulation and wildfires.

Research topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Fire detection and monitoring, including remote sensing and innovative technologies for wildfire detection
  • Fire spread models, ranging from case studies to long-term climatological assessments
  • Pre-fire planning and risk management
  • Post-fire assessment: burned area mapping, fire severity and damage (vegetation composition, decrease in forests, loss of biodiversity, soil degradation, alteration of landscape patterns and ecosystem functioning)
  • Post-fire vegetation recovery, including time series satellite data and vegetation phenology
  • Influence of weather and climate/climate change on wildfire activity
  • Fire impacts on the environment, in particular on the atmosphere and human health
  • Relation between wildfires and social and economic changes

The conference will bring together wildfire hazard managers, researchers, and theoreticians.


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