Catalyst - Earth on Fire
Over the past decade, there has been an alarming surge in large, uncontrollable fires across the world. We live in a time when mega-fires are reshaping landscapes in ways unprecedented in human history. Even iconic forests especially adapted to burning are being wiped out. In a climate of rising temperatures and shifting rainfall, amid debate about whether fire disasters are natural or man-made, what does the rise of mega-fires mean for life as we know it?
In this Catalyst special, reporters Anja Taylor and Mark Horstman travel to opposite sides of the planet to find out. In the 'sky islands' of New Mexico, which have experienced frequent fire for millennia, pine forest ecosystems are suddenly being decimated by huge, tree-killing fires. In the 'mountain islands' of the Australian Alps, 90 percent of this 500 kilometre long bioregion has been burnt this century, as changing fire intervals over the last ten years destroy large areas of mature eucalypt forests. Ultimately this is a story about climate change, told through the prism of fire.
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