Around the world, fires are failing to spark, and grasslands are suffering. Over the past two decades, the amount of burned land has plummeted globally by nearly 25 percent, an international team of scientists reported today. Satellite images indicate that the rise of commercial agriculture is preventing fires from catching hold, especially in grasslands. This might sound like a good thing, but grasslands and their animal denizens actually depend on wildfires. Burned terrain will likely continue to shrink in coming decades, endangering grasslands and savannas as we know them.

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Thursday, June 29, 2017