A human-driven decline in global burned area
This 2017 paper shows that global burned area declined by around 25% over the past 18 years, largely in grasslands and savannas, because of the expansion of agriculture into these areas.
Clarifying Amazonia’s burning crisis
In a letter to the editor of Global Change Biology in the wake of the 2019 wildfire season, four academics evaluate the nature and extent of burning in the Amazon, comparing it to the Brazilian government’s claim that it was a “normal” year. They find that the number of active fires in August 2019 was the highest since 2010.
Reserves Protect against Deforestation Fires in the Amazon
This 2009 paper looks at the effectiveness of reserves designed to conserve forests and biodiversity in also avoiding wildfires. It concludes that reserves clearly prevent deforestation fires, but the extent of that depends on the level of protection afforded to the reserve in question.
Amazonian Biomass Burning Enhances Tropical Andean Glaciers Melting
This 2019 paper demonstrates that the black carbon emitted during fires in the Amazon Basin contributes to the melting of tropical glaciers in the Andes. It finds that, in 2010, runoff increased by 4.5% during the peak fire season.
Modeling peat- and forestland conversion by oil palm smallholders in Indonesian Borneo
This 2019 paper looks at who is responsible for the expansion of palm oil plantations in Indonesian Borneo. It finds that independent smallholders are increasingly converting peatland due to the increasing scarcity of suitable land on ordinary soil, and that the smallholders undertaking these damaging activities are likely to belong to indigenous groups rather than be experienced oil palm farmers.
Large scale tropical deforestation drives extreme warming
This 2020 paper explores the links between tropical deforestation, local climatic change in these regions and global climate change. Using satellite observations, the researchers find that industrial-scale deforestation has the potential to alter local climate as much as decades or centuries of global warming under worst-case emissions scenarios. Local temperature increases are likely to compound the impacts of climate change on human health, due to exposure to extreme heat, and compromise crop yields.