SOC 2070 Lecture Notes - Lecture 12: Engine Knocking, Pyrolysis, Conversion Of Units Of Temperature

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Wildfire dates to the time when trees first evolved 350 million years ago. After a fire, vegetation completes a cycle from early colonizing plants to mature ecosystem. Many species have evolved to withstand fire or promote the life of the species after a fire event. The geologic record shows an increase in the amount of charcoal in sediment approximately 10,000 years ago. This suggests high amounts of wildfire activity at the time. Plants accumulate carbon dioxide and store carbon in their tissues. There are 3 phases to a wildfire: During this phase, vegetation reaches a temperature at which it can ignite. This is a chemical process describing the degradation of large hydrocarbon molecules into smaller ones. The two processes of pre-heating and pyrolysis result in fuel that is prone to ignite. Ignition is not a single process; it can occur repeatedly as the fire moves. Flaming combustion is the rapid, high temperature conversion of fuel into heat.

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