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Climate-induced variations in global wildfire danger from 1979 to 2013

Citation

Jolly, WM and Cochrane, MA and Freeborn, PH and Holden, ZA and Brown, TJ and Williamson, GJ and Bowman, DMJS, Climate-induced variations in global wildfire danger from 1979 to 2013, Nature Communications, 6 Article 7537. ISSN 2041-1723 (2015) [Refereed Article]


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Copyright Statement

Copyright 2015 5 Macmillan Publishers Limited

DOI: doi:10.1038/ncomms8537

Abstract

Climate strongly influences global wildfire activity, and recent wildfire surges may signal fire weather-induced pyrogeographic shifts. Here we use three daily global climate data sets and three fire danger indices to develop a simple annual metric of fire weather season length, and map spatio-temporal trends from 1979 to 2013. We show that fire weather seasons have lengthened across 29.6millionkm2 (25.3%) of the Earth’s vegetated surface, resulting in an 18.7% increase in global mean fire weather season length. We also show a doubling (108.1% increase) of global burnable area affected by long fire weather seasons (>1.0 σ above the historical mean) and an increased global frequency of long fire weather seasons across 62.4millionkm2 (53.4%) during the second half of the study period. If these fire weather changes are coupled with ignition sources and available fuel, they could markedly impact global ecosystems, societies, economies and climate.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:fire danger, climate
Research Division:Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences
Research Group:Forestry Sciences
Research Field:Forestry Fire Management
Objective Division:Environment
Objective Group:Climate and Climate Change
Objective Field:Effects of Climate Change and Variability on Australia (excl. Social Impacts)
Author:Williamson, GJ (Dr Grant Williamson)
Author:Bowman, DMJS (Professor David Bowman)
ID Code:101879
Year Published:2015
Web of Science® Times Cited:178
Deposited By:Plant Science
Deposited On:2015-07-15
Last Modified:2017-11-09
Downloads:229 View Download Statistics

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