Potential Effects of Regional Climate Change on Fire Weather in the U.S.
Occurrences of large and sometimes extreme and erratic wildfires have raised speculation in the fire and forest management communities about what projected future climate conditions might mean for future wildfire activity and fire weather in different regions of the United States. Forest Service researchers collaborated with researchers at Michigan State University to assess how projected regional climate change in the U.S. might affect the frequency of occurrence of atmospheric conditions conducive to extreme fire behavior. Using atmospheric moisture and temperature data obtained from an ensemble of North American Regional Climate Change Assessment Program (NARCCAP) regional climate model simulations of the current (1971-2000) and future (2041-2070) climates, these scientists were able to identify areas in the U.S. where future climate conditions may lead to more extreme wildfire behavior as quantified by an operational fire-weather index. Results from this project are intended to help natural resource managers develop long-term plans that account for the effects of regional climate change on extreme wildfire occurrence.
|Will future climate favor more erratic wildfires in the western United States?||(publication)|
Forest Service Partners