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SCI/TECH: New report finds large fires created the Australian desert

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posted on Jan, 29 2005 @ 02:41 PM
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A new report that appears in latest (January) edition of the journal, "Geology" finds that widespread burning of plant matter, possibly by early human settlers, may have contributed or even caused the creation of the desert that is now the Australian outback. The report, suggests that penetration of monsoonal moisture into the interior of the region was at least in part dependant on "biosphereic feedback" (in this case moisture absorption and release by plant material). They postulate that burning of brush, trees and grassland that once existed has impacted the formation of clouds over the Australian interior and resulted the widespread desertification of much of the continent.
 



www.cnn.com
WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- Settlers who came to Australia 50,000 years ago and set fires that burned off natural flora and fauna may have triggered a cataclysmic weather change that turned the country's interior into the dry desert it is today, U.S. and Australian researchers said on Tuesday.


Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


If this is true, it certainly should serve as a warning for mankind with respect to the burning of the Brazilian rain forests. While I haven't been able to locate an electronic version of the report, and haven't had a chance to make it to the local library, I still think the topic bears mention here.

One can only wonder what South America may look like in a few tens of thousands of years, if we continue our slash and burn practices there. A new desert, this time in South America?

Related AboveTopSecret.com Discussion Threads:
Study: Large fires created Australian desert



[edit on 29-1-2005 by TrickmastertricK]




posted on Jan, 29 2005 @ 03:55 PM
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I cant help but wonder, if we were to replant the Australian out back, would it bring the temprant climent back?



posted on Jan, 29 2005 @ 04:20 PM
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With Aboriginal logic we should be able to take the current generations of Aborigines to court for massive environmental damage to the continent. After all it is they who are responsible for the destruction of Australia's interior forrests is it



posted on Jan, 29 2005 @ 04:27 PM
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Good find! Thanks.

More than just burning the Brazilian forests, this seems to serve as a warning against clear-cutting anywhere.

...Seems to me that most deserts are known to have been temperate before human habitation... ?


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posted on Jan, 29 2005 @ 04:46 PM
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What that report doesent tell you is why the early human settlers Burned so much of the grasslands. Occording to national geographic the settlers were oringialy from the surounding islands and were made up of fishing villiges as such were totaly unprepaired for the Worlds largest marcupeo Predetor bigger the a lion pluse the worlds largest LAND meat eating reptial the size of a crok but could out run a horse .
The only defence they had against these two TOP of the food chain predetors was fire and the tall grass worked to the predetors adavange so they burned it along with the two predetors creating a new australia.
Of corse this is just national gepgraphices theroy but they are the best at figering these things out.



posted on Jan, 29 2005 @ 05:01 PM
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HMMM.

So you're saying it's okay to burn the world to kill predators?

...Or just that things happen? Or what?


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posted on Jan, 29 2005 @ 05:16 PM
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The Australian 'desert' is grasslands, if you want classic sandy dunes try the Sahara in Africa...

Try this site for views of the Pilbara (north western desert)

www.kisser.net.au...



posted on Jan, 29 2005 @ 05:48 PM
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Originally posted by subz
With Aboriginal logic we should be able to take the current generations of Aborigines to court for massive environmental damage to the continent. After all it is they who are responsible for the destruction of Australia's interior forrests is it


Would be convenient, wouldn't it. Now I am trying to forget about the Meteor that caused a conflagration in the Asian grasslands the other day, and the lightning strikes that burned up American and African communities this year, and the volcanic conflagrations and...

'New report theorizes large fires created the Australian desert'. If the theory is correct, there are many natural causes for conflagrations, with primitive humans way down at the bottom of the list. Modern humans are another matter entirely, and we need to protect forests everywhere from the ravages of pate' eating shareholders. I think this idea is corporately motivated, to discredit Aboriginals who are begging Australians to save what is left of the natural environment from mining and logging.

It is instructive to go sit on an undeveloped ridgeline that is part of a maritime valley. For a day and night. Just watch. The fog will roll in like a living thing, and the needles of the conifers will condense the fog, which then drips into the soil. Go sit on a clearcut the next day. The fog blows by, and the ground stays dry. Once an area is desertified, it is not a simple matter of replanting. Seedlings do not reach high enough to catch fog.

Now deserts are not in themselves bad. They have a bad rap. Many people see them as dead. But if natural, they are good places to live. If Australia underwent natural desertification like the elecrically, volcanically and meteoritically blasted areas of the American southwest, if parts lie in a natural rainshadow, well then that's just the way it is. Native populations were never large enough, nor Native technology destructive enough, to denude continents- in my opinion.

Try making a fire drill, and kindling a small fire some time. Not easy at all.

In California, Natives used advanced firefighting backfire techniques to manage grasslands and prevent conflagrations.

I want more evidence before I convict the Aborigines for continenticide.

[edit on 29-1-2005 by Chakotay]



posted on Jan, 30 2005 @ 03:48 AM
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There's no question that it was the Aborigines that started these fires. They still practice the same techniques now as they did 80,000 years ago



posted on Jan, 30 2005 @ 06:21 PM
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Originally posted by Chakotay

I want more evidence before I convict the Aborigines for continenticide.





Seriously though - this is important. It tells us that we're making big mistakes by burning and clear-cutting - and shows us what's gonna happen.


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