Skip to Main content Skip to Navigation
Journal articles

A human-driven decline in global burned area

Abstract : Fire is an essential Earth system process that alters ecosystem and atmospheric composition. Here we assessed long-term fire trends using multiple satellite data sets. We found that global burned area declined by 24.3 ± 8.8% over the past 18 years. The estimated decrease in burned area remained robust after adjusting for precipitation variability and was largest in savannas. Agricultural expansion and intensification were primary drivers of declining fire activity. Fewer and smaller fires reduced aerosol concentrations, modified vegetation structure, and increased the magnitude of the terrestrial carbon sink. Fire models were unable to reproduce the pattern and magnitude of observed declines, suggesting that they may overestimate fire emissions in future projections. Using economic and demographic variables, we developed a conceptual model for predicting fire in human-dominated landscapes.
Document type :
Journal articles
Complete list of metadata
Contributor : Quentin Jaillard Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Thursday, July 1, 2021 - 10:23:17 AM
Last modification on : Tuesday, May 10, 2022 - 3:49:50 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Saturday, October 2, 2021 - 6:32:49 PM


Publisher files allowed on an open archive



N. Andela, C. Morton, L. Giglio, Y. Chen, G. van Der Werf, et al.. A human-driven decline in global burned area. Science, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), 2017, 356 (6345), pp.1356 - 1362. ⟨10.1126/science.aal4108⟩. ⟨cea-01588364⟩



Record views


Files downloads