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Future fire danger climatology for Tasmania, Australia, using a dynamically downscaled regional climate model


Fox-Hughes, P and Harris, RM and Lee, G and Grose, MR and Bindoff, NL, Future fire danger climatology for Tasmania, Australia, using a dynamically downscaled regional climate model, International Journal of Wildland Fire, 23, (3) pp. 309-321. ISSN 1049-8001 (2014) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2014 CSIRO

DOI: doi:10.1071/WF13126


Daily values of McArthur Forest Fire Danger Index were generated at ~10-km resolution over Tasmania, Australia, from six dynamically downscaled CMIP3 climate models for 19612100, using a high (A2) emissions scenario. Multi-model mean fire danger validated well against observations for 20022012, with 99th percentile fire dangers having the same distribution and largely similar values to those observed over the same time. Model projections showed a broad increase in fire danger across Tasmania, but with substantial regional variation the increase was smaller in western Tasmania (district mean cumulative fire danger increasing at 1.07 per year) compared with parts of the east (1.79 per year), for example. There was also noticeable seasonal variation, with little change occurring in autumn, but a steady increase in area subject to springtime 99th percentile fire danger from 6% in 19611980 to 21% by 20812100, again consistent with observations. In general, annually accumulated fire danger behaved similarly. Regional mean sea level pressure patterns resembled observed patterns often associated with days of dangerous fire weather. Days of elevated fire danger displaying these patterns increased in frequency during the simulated twenty-first century: in south-east Tasmania, for example, the number of such events detected rose from 101 (across all models) in 19611980 to 169 by 20812100. Correspondence of model output with observations and the regional detail available suggest that these dynamically downscaled model data are useful projections of future fire danger for landscape managers and the community.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:climate change, fire weather, regional climate model
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:Adaptation to climate change
Objective Field:Climate change adaptation measures (excl. ecosystem)
UTAS Author:Harris, RM (Dr Rebecca Harris)
UTAS Author:Lee, G (Dr Greg Lee)
UTAS Author:Grose, MR (Dr Michael Grose)
UTAS Author:Bindoff, NL (Professor Nathan Bindoff)
ID Code:89677
Year Published:2014
Web of Science® Times Cited:41
Deposited By:CRC-Antarctic Climate & Ecosystems
Deposited On:2014-03-11
Last Modified:2017-10-30

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