The Australian wildfires from a systems dependency perspective

Handmer, J., Hochrainer-Stigler, S., Schinko, T. ORCID:, Gaupp, F., & Mechler, R. ORCID: (2020). The Australian wildfires from a systems dependency perspective. Environmental Research Letters 15 (12) e121001. 10.1088/1748-9326/abc0bc.

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Wildfires are a normal occurrence in much of the world, with many fire adapted ecosystems and societies (Moritz et al 2014). However, a number of drivers appear to be increasing the fire risk and propensity for losses globally (Anon 2019). These drivers include global climate change which through heat and drying is increasing landscape flammability (Podur and Wotton 2010; IPCC 2019, Jones et al 2020). Exposure is being exacerbated through increasing use of fire prone landscapes for urban development, infrastructure and related activities. There is also widespread farmland abandonment, with the consequent loss of land and fire-risk management (Komac et al 2020). Importantly, there are now indications that wildfires are increasingly characterized by severe ecosystem impacts (Lewis 2020). While smaller wildfires often have a rejuvenating effect, the catastrophic fires recently seen in Australia, US and Indonesia seem to leave some ecosystems very seriously damaged (Duncombe 2020, Ward et al 2020). This also has important socio-economic implications, including health, tourism and economic development. How to assess and deal with extreme wildfire risks in the future is a key question that needs to be addressed at the local, country and even global level.

Item Type: Article
Research Programs: Ecosystems Services and Management (ESM)
Risk & Resilience (RISK)
Depositing User: Luke Kirwan
Date Deposited: 14 Oct 2020 06:32
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 17:33

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