Canadian Forest Service Publications

Development of daily weather and fire danger scenarios using two general circulation models. 2002. Logan, K.A.; Flannigan, M.D.; Wotton, B.M.; Stocks, B.J. Pages 185 - 189 in Proceedings, of the 22nd Tall Timbers Fire Ecology Conference: Fire in Temperate, Boreal, and Montaine Ecosystems. . R.T. Engstrom and W.J. de Groot (editors). Tall Timbers Research Station, Tallahassee, FL.

Year: 2002

Issued by: Great Lakes Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 36155

Language: English

Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)

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Fires play an important role in Canadian forests and are largely influenced by the weather. Any changes in future climate may lead to dramatic changes in future fire activity. We examined what changes in climate might occur due to increased levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and the impact that such climatic changes will have on future fire danger. Daily data were obtained from General Circulation Models (GCMs) from the Canadian Climate Centre (CCC) and Hadley Centre for Canada and used to create future scenarios of forest fire danger across the country. We compared the results for each model and time period to look at potential changes in future fire danger and also differences among the various models. The Hadley model suggested increases in seasonal fire severity of 100% to 200% over much of Canada with some areas of even larger increases. Few areas showed a decrease. The CCC model did not show such a clear pattern of increase and generated a different scenario than the Hadley model for much of central Canada. Both models predicted a longer fire season in Canada of a few days in the south up to approximately a month at northerly latitudes. On average the increase was approximately 2 to 3 weeks across Canada. Increased fire activity will be of interest to anyone studying forest biodiversity, productivity, carbon flux, and fire management practices.