Are there lightning Fires in the Amazon Rainforest?

Cunhui Zhang, Thomas Janssen, Matthew Jones, Sander Veraverbeke

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterpeer-review


Tropical rainforests have exceptionally high biodiversity and store large amounts of carbon in biomass. However, large and frequent fires across tropical rainforests in the last decades threaten the ecosystem integrity of these ecosystems. The general belief is that fires in the Amazon rainforest are all human-ignited and that lightning fires do not occur in rainforests due to the predominant wet conditions. However, recent research indicates the possibility of lightning fires in tropical rainforests. Here, we aim to investigate the occurrence of lightning-ignited fires in the Amazon rainforest, a topic that has been largely overlooked in the current understanding of fire dynamics in this biome. We collected and analyzed data on lightning strikes, fire occurrences, and weather patterns derived from satellite imagery and climate datasets. The objective is to detect, quantify, and characterize lightning fires in the Brazilian Amazon rainforests, thereby providing new insights into the natural fire regime of this crucial ecosystem.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 8 Mar 2024
EventEuropean Geosciences Union, General Assembly 2024 - Vienna
Duration: 14 Apr 202419 Apr 2024


ConferenceEuropean Geosciences Union, General Assembly 2024

Cite this