Assessing the impact of climate change on wildfire regimes in forests
Fire is an intrinsic element of many forest ecosystems; it shapes their ecological processes, determines species composition and influences landscape structure. However wildfires also release carbon emissions, create smoke pollution, cause loss of lives and property and affects biodiversity and vegetation coverage. There are also increasing concerns about the potential impacts of climate change on forest fires, forest fuels and the probability of fires.
This latest study, led by researchers from the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) in Indonesia, identifies the tools and methods used for gathering information about the impacts of climate variability and change on forest fires. These tools include remote sensing, dynamic global vegetation and landscape models, integrated fire-vegetation models, fire danger rating systems, empirical models and fire behaviour models.
Identification of the probability of fire events that vary across space and time are major challenges for modelling and assessing potential climate variability and change impacts on forest fire. Furthermore, the most realistic model results that capture climate-fire interactions are highly complex and are thus computationally expensive.
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