Climate and Vegetation as Driving Factors in Global Fire Activity

  • Edward Dwyer
  • Jean-Marie Grégoire
  • José M. C. Pereira
Part of the Advances in Global Change Research book series (AGLO, volume 3)


Global active fire distributions have been determined for a 12 month period from daily acquired, low spatial resolution satellite imagery. These distributions have been grouped into a small number of classes based on the spatial and temporal characteristics of the data. A global climatology of monthly temperature and precipitation data was used to derive warmth and moisture indices. We show how different patterns of fire activity, as represented by the fire classes, can be related to particular climate conditions. Vegetation type is also shown to be important in determining fire activity, particularly in tropical regions. Our results support the premise that fire regimes will change under changed climate conditions and that the empirical approach to the investigation of the fire-climate relationship could provide a complementary tool to the physically-based climate change prediction models.


Vegetation Type Advance Very High Resolution Radiometer Advance Very High Resolution Radiometer Fire Activity Fire Event 
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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Edward Dwyer
    • 1
  • Jean-Marie Grégoire
    • 1
  • José M. C. Pereira
    • 2
  1. 1.Global Vegetation Monitoring Unit, Space Applications Institute, Joint Research CentreEuropean CommissionIspraItaly
  2. 2.Laboratory for Remote Sensing and Geographical Analysis, Department of ForestryInstituto Superior de AgronomiaLisbonPortugal

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