Re: Earliest evidence of fire question

9 Aug 1996 12:44:49 GMT

David Woodcock ( wrote:

: : : Except, perhaps, for the open fires started by lightning?

: : : (Although I lived in the Serengeti Park for two years and, at least
: : : around *us*, no lightning started fires. But that doesn't mean that it
: : : didn't some time in the past 3 MY.)

: : Lee checked that. He saw plenty of grass fires, but almost all man-caused.
: : The issue did come up when he challenged the received wisdom back in the
: : '50s. The problem with depending only on lightning is that regrowth is
: : then much greater, and good-sized trees are fire-resistant.

: Does he assume present day temperatures at 3 Mya ?
: Apparently lightening is very sensitive to temperature,
: a change of a couple of degrees can change the number of
: lightening strokes four fold.

Interesting point. Anyone have some paleoclimatic data on this?

Harry Erwin, Internet:, Web Page:
49 year old PhD student in computational neuroscience ("how bats do it" 8)
and lecturer for CS 211 (data structures and advanced C++)