Climate change impacts on wildfires in a Mediterranean environment

Nou artícle publicat a Climatic Change sobre els impactes del canvi climàtic als incencis del Mediterrani.

 

Abstract

We analyse the observed climate-driven changes in summer wildfires and their future evolution in a typical Mediterranean environment (NE Spain). By analysing observed climate and fire data from 1970 to 2007, we estimate the response of fire number (NF) and burned area (BA) to climate trends, disentangling the drivers responsible for long-term and interannual changes by means of a parsimonious Multi Linear Regression model (MLR). In the last forty years, the observed NF trend was negative. Here we show that, if improvements in fire management were not taken into account, the warming climate forcing alone would have led to a positive trend in NF. On the other hand, for BA, higher fuel flammability is counterbalanced by the indirect climate effects on fuel structure (i.e. less favourable conditions for fine-fuel availability and fuel connectivity), leading to a slightly negative trend. Driving the fire model with A1B climate change scenarios based on a set of Regional Climate Models from the ENSEMBLES project indicates that increasing temperatures promote a positive trend in NF if no further improvements in fire management are introduced.

AUTHORS: Marco Turco, María del Carmen Llasat, Jost von Hardenberg and Antonello Provenzale.

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Decreasing fires in a Mediterranean region (1970–2010, NE Spain) – (Brief communication)

Authors: M. Turco, M. C. Llasat, A. Tudela, X. Castro, and A. Provenzale

Abstract.

We analyse the recent evolution of fires in Catalonia (north-eastern Iberian Peninsula), a typical Mediterranean region. We examine a homogeneous series of forest fires in the period 1970–2010. During this period, more than 9000 fire events greater than 0.5 ha were recorded, and the total burned area was more than 400 kha. Our analysis shows that both the burned area and number of fire series display a decreasing trend. Superposed onto this general decrease, strong oscillations on shorter time scales are evident. After the large fires of 1986 and 1994, the increased effort in fire prevention and suppression could explain part of the decreasing trend. Although it is often stated that fires have increased in Mediterranean regions, the higher efficiency in fire detection could have led to spurious trends and misleading conclusions.

Link: www.nat-hazards-earth-syst-sci.net/13/649/2013/ 

Brief communication Decreasing fires in a Mediterranean region (1970–2010, NE Spain)

Abstract.

We analyse the recent evolution of fires in Catalonia (north-eastern Iberian Peninsula), a typical Mediterranean region. We examine a homogeneous series of forest fres in the period 1970–2010. During this period, more than 9000 fire events greater than 0.5 ha were recorded, and the total burned area was more than 400 kha. Our analysis shows that both the burned area and number of fire series display a decreasing trend. Superposed onto this general decrease, strong oscillations on shorter time scales are evident. After the large fires of 1986 and 1994, the increased effort in fire prevention and suppression could explain part of the decreasing trend. Although it is often stated that fires have increased in Mediterranean regions, the higher efficiency in fire detection could have led to spurious trends and misleading conclusions.

M. Turco, M. C. Llasat, , A. Tudela, X. Castro and A. Provenzale.

http://www.nat-hazards-earth-syst-sci.net/13/649/2013/nhess-13-649-2013.html

Download full paper: Brief communication Decreasing fires in a Mediterranean region (1970–2010, NE Spain)

Incendis a Catalunya, SPIF consulta de dades.

Des de 1968, hi ha hagut un total 6 incendis (si hi sumem l’actual de la Jonquera), cadascun d’ells, amb més de 10.000 ha cremades. Tots ells han succeït durant el mes de juliol i a les comarques del primer quadrant i centre de Catalunya.

L’incendi amb més superfície cremada, dels últims 42 anys, va ser el de juliol de 1994 a Montmajor, municipi del Berguedà, on es van cremar gairebé 17.000 ha. Tot seguit, amb gairebé la mateixa superfície el segueix el de juliol de 1986 a la Jonquera, un incendi que ens recorda el que està tenint lloc i que ja porta, pel que sembla, més de 13.800 ha afectades de les quals, unes 10.000 ha estan cremades (valors que el situarien, de moment en el grup dels 5-6 més destacats).

Per a més informació podeu consultar la web del SPIF:

http://www20.gencat.cat/portal/site/DAR/menuitem.3645c709047c363053b88e10b031e1a0/?vgnextoid=fbb1da7992821310VgnVCM1000008d0c1e0aRCRD&vgnextchannel=
fbb1da7992821310VgnVCM1000008d0c1e0aRCRD&vgnextfmt=default

http://www20.gencat.cat/portal/site/DAR/menuitem.3645c709047c363053b88e10b031e1a0/?vgnextoid=6d10c55d62821310VgnVCM1000008d0c1e0aRCRD&vgnextchannel=
6d10c55d62821310VgnVCM1000008d0c1e0aRCRD&vgnextfmt=default

Lectura de Tesis Doctoral de Marco Turco (membre del grup GAMA i del CMCC)

Aquest 25 de juliol a les 11 del matí, Marco Turco investigador del grup GAMA i del CMCC llegirà la Tesis Doctoral que ha estat dirigida per la Dra. María Carme Llasat.

Impact of climate variability on summer fires in a Mediterranean environment (northeastern Iberian Peninsula)

Abstract

We analyse the impact of climate interannual variability on summer forest fires in Catalonia (northeastern Iberian Peninsula). The study period covers 25 years, from 1983 to 2007. During this period more than 16000 fire events were recorded and the total burned area was more than 240 kha, i.e. around 7.5% of whole Catalonia. We show that the interannual variability of summer fires is significantly correlated with summer precipitation and summer maximum temperature. In addition, fires are significantly related to antecedent climate conditions, showing positive correlation with lagged precipitation and negative correlation with lagged temperatures, both with a time lag of two years, and negative correlation with the minimum temperature in the spring of the same year. The interaction between antecedent climate conditions and fire variability highlights the importance of climate not only in regulating fuel flammability, but also fuel structure. On the basis of these results, we discuss a simple regression model that explains up to 76% of the variance of the Burned Area and up to 91% of the variance of the number of fires. This simple regression model produces reliable out-of-sample predictions of the impact of climate variability on summer forest fires and it could be used to estimate fire response to different climate change scenarios, assuming that climate-vegetation-humans-fire interactions will not change significantly.

Marco Turco, Maria Carmen Llasat, Jost von Hardenberg and Antonello Provenzale