11.4 Climate and changes in fire potential for southeastern United States

Thursday, 7 May 2015: 2:15 PM
Great Lakes Ballroom (Crowne Plaza Minneapolis Northstar)
Scott Goodrick, USDA Forest Service, Athens, GA; and M. D. Williams

Fire is an integral part of many ecosystems throughout the southeastern United States. Most of the fire each year in the South is prescribed fire; however, if climate change leads to a warmer and drier climate that balance could change as we may find ourselves out of prescription on a more frequent basis. Using data from the Multivariate Adaptive Constructed Analogs data set (http://maca.northwestknowledge.net/) we examine potential changes in fire potential as expressed through two meteorological indices (Keetch-Byram Drought Index and Fosberg Fire Weather Index) for 5 different climate models for the period of 1950-2100. Wavelet analysis is used to examine time series of the fire potential indices looking for shifts in periodicity of prescribed fire windows for five National Forests across the region.
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