M. D. Flannigan, B. M. Wotton, G. A. Marshall, W. J. de Groot, J. Johnston, N. Jurko, A. S. Cantin. 2016. Fuel moisture sensitivity to temperature and precipitation: climate change implications. Climate Change, Volume 134, Issue 1, pp 59-71. DOI: 10.1007/

Type: 
Literature
Event Date: 
Publication: 
M. D. Flannigan, B. M. Wotton, G. A. Marshall, W. J. de Groot, J. Johnston, N. Jurko, A. S. Cantin. 2016. Fuel moisture sensitivity to temperature and precipitation: climate change implications. Climate Change, Volume 134, Issue 1, pp 59-71. DOI: 10.1007/s10584-015-1521-0
Year Published: 
2016
Grant Deadline: 
Description: 

The authors of this paper examined the sensitivity of fuel moisture to changes in temperature and precipitation and explored the related implications of future climate. They used the Canadian Forest Fire Weather Index System components to represent the moisture content of fine surface fuels, upper forest floor layers and deep organic soils. They also obtained weather data from 12 stations across Canada for the fire season during the 1971–2000 period and used those data to create a set of modified weather streams by varying the daily temperatures and daily precipitation by set amounts while calculating fuel moistures for all temperature and precipitation combinations. They found that, for every degree of warming, precipitation had to increase by more than 15 % for surface fuels, about 10 % for upper forest floor layers and about 5 % for deep organic soils to compensate for the drying caused by warmer temperatures. Results from three General Circulation Models (GCMs) and three emission scenarios suggest that this sensitivity to temperature increases will result in a future with drier fuels and a higher frequency of extreme fire weather days.

Category: 
Climate impacts, Wildfire