Canadian Forest Service Publications

Climate change and wildfire in Canada. 1991. Flannigan, M.D.; Van Wagner, C.E. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 21(10: 66-72.

Year: 1991

Issued by: National Capital Region

Catalog ID: 10603

Language: English

Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)

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This study investigates the impact of postulated greenhouse warming on the severity of the forest fire season in Canada. Using CO2 levels that are double those of the present (2 × CO2), simulation results from three general circulation models (Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, Goddard Institute for Space Studies, and Oregon State University) were used to calculate the seasonal severity ratings for six stations across Canada. Monthly anomalies from the 2 × CO2 simulation results were superimposed over historical sequences of daily weather. Then, seasonal severity ratings of the present were compared with those for 2 × CO2 using five variations involving temperature, precipitation, and relative humidity. The relationship between seasonal severity rating and annual provincial area burned by wildfire was explored. The results suggest a 46% increase in seasonal severity rating, with a possible similar increase in area burned, in a 2 × CO2 climate.