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An assessment of potential change in wildfire activity in the Russian boreal forest zone induced by climate warming during the twenty-first century

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The problem of forest fires is very important for Russia. In this paper we consider this problem in the connection with the projection of significant climate change. An approach to determine the magnitude of change in wildfire risk in Russia under the influence of climate warming is discussed. Observations for the European part of Russia and for Siberia have been used in this analysis. A statistical correlation between drought indices calculated by use of monthly sums of temperature and precipitation and the frequency of fire danger was obtained for the forest zone of Russia. The change in fire danger potential was evaluated using temperature and precipitation monthly means at the nodes of a regular spatial grid. Climate change scenarios were obtained from Global Climate Models (GCM) ensemble projections. The maximum increases (about 12–30%) of the number of days with fire danger conditions during the twenty-first century fire season were obtained for the southern forest zone boundary in both the European region of Russia and in Siberia. In the Baikal and Primoriye Regions, fire danger distributions in the twenty-first century are not projected to change significantly.

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Correspondence to E. D. Nadyozhina.

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Malevsky-Malevich, S.P., Molkentin, E.K., Nadyozhina, E.D. et al. An assessment of potential change in wildfire activity in the Russian boreal forest zone induced by climate warming during the twenty-first century. Climatic Change 86, 463–474 (2008).

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