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Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area Climate Change and Bushfire Research Initiative


Love, P and Remenyi, T and Harris, R and Bindoff, N, Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area Climate Change and Bushfire Research Initiative, Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre, Hobart, Tasmania (2019) [Contract Report]

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Fire managers in the Parks and Wildlife Service Tasmania (PWS) have been provided with new and updated decision making tools to aid in the development of the planned burning strategy for the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area (TWWHA).

The landscape scale fire regime model FIRESCAPE-SWTAS has been updated to provide an enhanced capability to assess PWS planned burning strategies for the TWWHA. This has been achieved through:

  • updates to vegetation data and other spatial input data
  • expansion of the model domain to encompass the entire TWWHA and influential adjacent reserves and vegetation westward of the TWWHA
  • implementation of a new facility to ingest gridded weather data, such as the new high resolution BARRA products
  • implementation of a planned burning strategy currently under development by PWS, as part of the TWWHA Fire Management Plan.

The updates to FIRESCAPE-SWTAS also provide an enhanced capability to assess impacts of climate change on fire regime in TWWHA through the application of Climate Futures for South-East Australia high-resolution regional climate projections.

An assessment of an interim Planned Burning Strategy indicates a significant decrease in the number of unplanned fires in the regions adjacent to planned burn areas. The updated model allows the rapid testing of Planned Burning Scenarios, allowing the optimisation of resource allocation.

This project has produced a tool to calculate climate suitability of a target region. It uses the region defined by an input polygon (such as a shapefile) to subset gridded weather data to define the ‘climate’ of this target region. This can then be compared to the ‘climate’ of every other region (in both space and time) to find regions that are similar. The software developed for this analysis will been made public through The Comprehensive R Archive Network as an open source package for ongoing use and development.

Climate suitability for the historical, mid-century and end-of-century time periods have been provided for 8 broad vegetation types. These indicate a dramatic decrease in the extent of all analogous climates into the future driven by compounding drying and warming trends. Drying trends dominate the mid-century, while warming trends become more important by the end-of-century.

Item Details

Item Type:Contract Report
Keywords:fire modelling, fire behaviour, climate change, Tasmania, vegetation change
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Climate change science
Research Field:Climate change processes
Objective Division:Environmental Policy, Climate Change and Natural Hazards
Objective Group:Understanding climate change
Objective Field:Effects of climate change on Australia (excl. social impacts)
UTAS Author:Love, P (Dr Peter Love)
UTAS Author:Remenyi, T (Dr Tom Remenyi)
UTAS Author:Harris, R (Dr Rebecca Harris)
UTAS Author:Bindoff, N (Professor Nathan Bindoff)
ID Code:132508
Year Published:2019
Deposited By:Geography and Spatial Science
Deposited On:2019-05-08
Last Modified:2019-05-10
Downloads:9 View Download Statistics

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