Climate Change Induced Wildfires are Rising at a Faster Pace than Predicted

A new study highlights how global fires are on the rise due to climate change – but how human actions and policies play a crucial role in controlling regional influences.

According to a study by an international team of researchers led by East England (UEA), man-made climate change is a ‘global push’ to increase the risk of wildfires.

Fire conditions – The hot dry conditions suitable for wildfires – are increasing in climate change, increasing the risk of large-scale wildfires by making landscapes burn more frequently and worse. Predicts the impact of climate change on fires in the future, with each additional degree causing a wildfire.

Climate models show that in some parts of the world, such as the Mediterranean and Amazon, the frequency of fires in modern times is unprecedented compared to recent historical climates, due to global warming around 1.1 ° C.

After all, according to the current trend, if global temperatures reach 2-3 degrees Celsius, this will happen in all regions of the world.

Climate patterns show that some of the most recent and severe wildfires in Western USA, Australia, and Canada are likely to occur as a result of climate change.

The article, published today in the magazine Geophysical reviewsScientists from the USA and Swansea University, the Exeter and Met Office in the UK, the Cicero Climate Science Center in Australia, and scientists from the US, Germany, Spain and the Netherlands.

The relationship between fires – past, present and future – and various controls on fire activity has a significant impact on wildfire activity, including climate change, human activity, land use and plant productivity. On the landscape.

Dr. Matthew Jones, a staff member at the Tindall Climate Change Research Center in the USA, said:Wildfires have a devastating effect on society, the economy, human health and livelihoods, biodiversity and carbon storage. These effects generally increase in forest fires.

“Clarifying the link between forest fires and climate change is crucial to understanding the threat of future wildfires. Communities can prevent or mitigate the growing fires caused by climate change, and regional measures and policies can certainly be helpful in preventing them.” Reduces fire or weight loss.

“Ultimately, as the world warms up, we will fight the growing fires. Doing double the greenhouse gas emissions and lowering the temperature below 2 degrees Celsius is the most effective thing we can do to avoid the worst. A global wildfire.”

The authors emphasize that humans have a significant regional impact on wildfire activity in the tropics. For example, they have increased fires and reduced the natural resilience of some ecosystems, particularly in the tropical deforestation zones of Amazonia and Indonesia.

In contrast, in recent decades, the Savana and grasslands of Africa, Brazil, and northern Australia have reduced the spread of wildfires by converting land to agriculture and dividing natural vegetation through landslides.

Historically, forests in the US, Australia, and Mediterranean Europe can reduce unwanted fires or extinguish wildfires. However, the authors argue that in areas where this fire is a natural part of ecological activities, this could have unintended consequences.

For example, Policies that significantly excluded fires from the Western landscape in the 20th centuryTh Centuries have resulted in forests that are now overcrowded with plant fuels, which have led to more severe fires in recent droughts. The use of low-intensity fires in poor weather conditions is increasingly being used as an essential tool to control fuels by facilitating natural ecological functions.

The main findings of the analysis include:

  • In 1979-2019, the average annual global warming season increased by 14 days (27%). Globally, on average.
  • A.D. Since the 1980s, fires in most parts of the world have increased dramatically. Increases have been observed, especially in western North America, Amazonia, and the Mediterranean Sea. Due to the warmer climate, more climate change has occurred in the Mediterranean and the Amazon.
  • At 2 degrees Celsius, this is the case in the tropical forests of Siberia, Canada, Alaska, and the western United States. At 3 degrees Celsius, all regions of the world will experience unprecedented fires.
  • Globally, the area of ​​fire has been reduced by a quarter – or 1.1 million square kilometers2 – 2001-2019. Most reduction – 590,000 km2 – It has been in the Savana of Africa, where 60-70% of fires occur every year. Environmental / regional human influences have reduced the burning rate in tropical Savannah, which is associated with low grassland productivity (increasingly dry) during wet seasons.
  • Significant increases have been observed in the burnt area, especially in the highlands. For example, the area of ​​fires has increased by more than 1,600 miles[21,400 km].2 (93%) in eastern Siberian forests and in 3,400 km2 (54%) in the forests of western North America (Pacific Canada and the US combined).

Dr. Christina Santin, co-author of the University of Swansea and the Spanish National Research Council, added:Although wildfires are on the rise in almost every region of the world, human factors still regulate or eliminate climate change in many regions.

“We hope that this study will help address deep-rooted and conflicting perspectives on climate change and land management.”

The study reviewed 500 previous publications and re-analyzed modern databases based on satellite observations and models. Includes global climate change, global climate macroeconomic trends, and key regional ecosystems for firefighting or impact.

For these regions, future climate change changes will be assessed by policy appropriate temperature increases at 1.5 ° C, 2 ° C, 3 ° C, and 4 ° C, which will provide insight into how success or failure of climate policies relate to the risks. A wildfire that we must live with in the future.

Global and regional trends in climate change and fire driversPublished by Matthew Jones and others Geophysical reviews June 30


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