On July 18, 2011, a prescribed burn at Jasper Ridge helped add another variable to the investigations of the Global Change Experiment (JRGCE). Since 1998-99, the JRGCE has measured the impact of four major components of global change that are caused, at least in part, by the burning of fossil fuels: warming, elevated CO2, increased precipitation, and increased nitrogen deposition. The prescribed burn enables researchers to test all combinations of these 4 factors with & without a grassland fire. Researchers used the prescribed burn in other investigations as well; one is a study on the impact of fire-suppressant chemical Thermo-Gel on fire spread, and on the grassland ecosystem with and without fire.
Four areas were burned in sequence, totaling 1.2 acres in all: The East, North, South, and West Burns.
The day was a success: the burns were accomplished as planned. Now we must wait for the next growing season, and beyond, to see the results.
Some of these images also appear in Stanford's report of this burn: <http://news.stanford.edu/thedish/?m=201107>, and in a news story: <http://www.baycitizen.org/environment/story/firefighters-set-blaze-research/>. Philippe Cohen has posted his images of the burn to Picasa: <https://picasaweb.google.com/philippe.jrbp/2011JRGCEPrescribedBurn?authkey=Gv1sRgCMSr5fOyt9eL5gE>. There is much information on the JRGCE on the web, including <http://dge.stanford.edu/DGE/Dukes/JRGCE/gce.html>. Please let me know if you want to see more of my images, for example, for research purposes. Just leave a comment on an image.
© Photography by Dan Quinn