Skip to comments.First Australians did not boost fire activity
Posted on 12/08/2010 7:23:50 AM PST by SunkenCiv
The arrival of the first people in Australia about 50,000 years ago did not result in significantly greater fire activity, according to a landmark new research report on the continent's fire history going back 70,000 years. Despite a widely held belief that the frequent use of fire by Aboriginal people resulted in vegetation change and other environmental impacts in prehistoric times, the most comprehensive study of Australian charcoal records has found they had no major impact on fire regimes... On large time scales, overall fire activity in Australia predominantly reflects prevailing climate, with less activity in colder glacial periods and more in the warmer interglacials, the study found... Australian plants have developed a variety of responses and morphological and reproductive adaptations to fire, including the widespread use of re-sprouting, suggesting that fire has played an important role over evolutionary time scales, the report notes. Many species require regular fire in order to persist, particularly evident in humid but intermittently drought-prone environments where eucalypt trees dominate the vegetation... The records show that bushfire activity was high from about 70,000 to about 28,000 years ago. It then decreased until about 18,000 years ago, then increased again -- a pattern consistent with fire and climate trends globally.
(Excerpt) Read more at physorg.com ...
In Horus, a journal published by the late David Griffard, vol II no 1 (1985), Barry Fell was interviewed. Alas, DG went down in a private plane after the seventh issue. Among other things:"In the middle of Australia there is a group of three or four meteorite craters called the Henley craters. They're like the Arizona meteorite crater -- not so big, but there are several of them -- and, like in Arizona, the land was scattered with pieces of iron meteorite. I think the [inaudible] dating very slow growing desert plants. They believe that the date is about 5000 years ago -- the formation of the craters. The Aboriginal name for this area is the 'Place Where The Sun Walked on the Earth' -- they must have seen it!"
Abstract: More than 85 percent of Australian terrestrial genera with a body mass exceeding 44 kilograms became extinct in the Late Pleistocene. Although most were marsupials, the list includes the large, flightless mihirung Genyornis newtoni. More than 700 dates on Genyornis eggshells from three different climate regions document the continuous presence of Genyornis from more than 100,000 years ago until their sudden disappearance 50,000 years ago, about the same time that humans arrived in Australia. Simultaneous extinction of Genyornis at all sites during an interval of modest climate change implies that human impact, not climate, was responsible. [1/8/99 Pleistocene Extinction of Genyornis newtoni: Human Impact on Australian Megafauna (Gifford H. Miller, John W. Magee, Beverly J. Johnson, Marilyn L. Fogel, Nigel A. Spooner, Malcolm T. McCulloch, Linda K. Ayliffe, Science, Volume 283, Number 5399 Issue of 8 Jan 1999, pp. 205 - 208 )]
The Nale Tasih 2, a bamboo raft made with stone tools, on its epic 13-day journey from Timor to Australia, December 1998, travelling in 5-m waves.
Climate change and only climate change. :’)
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>>>”First Australians did not boost fire activity”<<<
As the article says Australia, itself, is in fact a very Very Old Continent. The Aborigines have been here way way before the European settlers of some 200 yrs ago, as many may know.
As for “Fire”, at least according to a certain Myth, it wasn’t discovered in Australia, as far as I know. Fire, as a key element in nature, was discovered elsewhere in the middle of (northern hemisphere) winter .. Remind me in late January or early February, I’ll then post some pics & an account of an ‘interesting’ tale.
Years ago I read an article in a major scientific magazine that the natives of Tasmania... could not make fire but relied on natural fires, had no houses but relied on windbreaks, no clothes in their winter but relied again on the natural fires.
There are numerous fires generated by lightning strikes - in regions where no human habitation exists, white man or aboriginal; fires pre-date human arrival on the continent IMO...vegetation has evolved to survive.
Thanks Fred Nerks!