Date: 09 Feb 2006

Forest Fires and Climate Change in the 21ST Century

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Abstract

Fire is the major stand-renewing disturbance in the circumboreal forest. Weather and climate are the most important factors influencing fire activity and these factors are changing due to human-caused climate change. This paper discusses and synthesises the current state of fire and climate change research and the potential direction for future studies on fire and climate change. In the future, under a warmer climate, we expect more severe fire weather, more area burned, more ignitions and a longer fire season. Although there will be large spatial and temporal variation in the fire activity response to climate change. This field of research allows us to better understand the interactions and feedbacks between fire, climate, vegetation and humans and to identify vulnerable regions. Lastly, projections of fire activity for this century can be used to explore options for mitigation and adaptation.