5th Symposium on Fire and Forest Meteorology and the 2nd International Wildland Fire Ecology and Fire Management Congress

Monday, 17 November 2003
Global Climate Model (GCM) projections of future mid-tropospheric flow and the relationship to future Canadian forest fire regimes
Walter R. Skinner, MSC, Downsview, ON, Canada
Historical relationships (1959-1999), as determined by previous studies, between monthly mid-tropospheric flow at 500 mb and area burned in Canada are examined by ecozone. Future changes in 500 mb heights, as suggested by a range of four IPCC suggested forcing scenarios from the Canadian coupled climate model (CGCM2), are then utilized to project estimates of future area burned. Significant increases in future area burned are suggested depending on ecozone. On average, area burned in Canada is expected to increase between 50-100% by 2100. These estimates do not account for changes in vegetation, ignitions, fire season length, or any human activity (fire management and land use activities) that can influence area burned. However, increases in area burned as suggested by this study could have significant impacts on Canadian forests.

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