Paper No. 8
Presentation Time: 3:00 PM
FIRE, ATMOSPHERE AND CLIMATE FEEDBACKS IN THE LATE PALEOZOIC
There are clear connections between the changes in atmospheric CO2, climate and vegetation change from the Pennsylvanian through to the end of the Permian. However, studies of charcoal in coal suggest that there are also significant linkages between wildfire and atmospheric oxygen during the same time interval. Overall charcoal contents of coals increases globally from the Pennsylvanian to and through the Permian. Increase in wildfire activity is not simply related to a steady increase in global temperatures but also to an increase in atmospheric oxygen where wetter plants will burn. However, there are significant feedbacks to consider, not least the impact of frequent fire on vegetational structure. This paper will explore both the data as well as possible feedbacks in the Earth System that have been neglected in current climate and atmospheric models.