Fire on Earth An Introduction

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2014-01-21
  • Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
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Supplemental Materials

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  • The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.


Earth is the only planet known to have fire.  The reason is both simple and profound: fire exists because Earth is the only planet to possess life as we know it.  Fire is an expression of life on Earth and an index of life’s history.  Few processes are as integral, unique, or ancient.


Fire on Earth puts fire in its rightful place as an integral part of the study of geology, biology, human history, physics, and global chemistry.  Fire is ubiquitous in various forms throughout Earth, and belongs as part of formal inquiries about our world. In recent years fire literature has multiplied exponentially; dedicated journals exist and half a dozen international conferences are held annually.  A host of formal sciences, or programs announcing interdisciplinary intentions, are willing to consider fire.  Wildfire also appears routinely in media reporting.


This full-colour text, containing over 250 illustrations of fire in all contexts, is designed to provide a synthesis of contemporary thinking; bringing together the most powerful concepts and disciplinary voices to examine, in an international setting, why planetary fire exists, how it works, and why it looks the way it does today. Students, lecturers, researchers and professionals interested in the physical, ecological and historical characteristics of fire will find this book, and accompanying web-based material, essential reading for undergraduate and postgraduate courses in all related disciplines, for general interest and for providing an interdisciplinary foundation for further study.  


  • A comprehensive approach to the history, behaviour and ecological effects of fire on earth
  • Timely introduction to this important subject, with relevance for global climate change, biodiversity loss and the evolution of human culture.
  • Provides a foundation for the interdisciplinary field of Fire Research
  • Authored by an international team of leading experts in the field
  • Associated website provides additional resources

Author Biography

Andrew C. Scott is Professor of Applied Palaeobotany and a Distinguished Research Fellow in the Department of Earth Sciences at Royal Holloway, University of London, England


David M.J.S.Bowman is Professor of Environmental Change Biology in the School of Plant Science at the University of Tasmania, Australia


William J. Bond is Professor of Plant Ecology in the Department of Botany at the University of Cape Town, South Africa


Stephen J. Pyne is Regent’s Professor in the School of Life Sciences at Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona, USA


Martin E. Alexander is an Adjunct Professor of Wildland Fire Science and Management at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada and formerly a senior fire behavior research officer with the Canadian Forest Service

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