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  • Australia heading into new 'fire age', warns global fire historian

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Australia heading into new 'fire age', warns global fire historian

Source(s):  Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC)

By Gregg Borschmann


Fire historian Stephen J. Pyne told RN Breakfast humans were pushing the planet to the opposite of an Ice Age — a new age of fire that he calls the Pyrocene.


Mr Pyne, an emeritus professor at Arizona State University, said Australia had been a fire continent for millions of years but that the Black Saturday fires in 2009 and the most recent 2019-2020 fire season marked a new era.


He said despite climate modelling predicting longer, more dangerous fire seasons, he was optimistic Australia did have positives we could look to.


"When you add it all up, we've got changes in sea level, we've got mass extinctions, we've got huge changes in biogeography underway and in many ways fire is an index and mover of [this new] age."


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  • Publication date 26 May 2020

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