Fire Weather Indices in Alaskan Tundra Expected to Respond to Climate Warming: New Article

A multi-decadal analysis of fire in Alaskan tundra ecotones was completed using records from the Alaska Large Fire Database and an analysis of future fire potential was performed based on future climate scenarios and the Canadian Fire Weather Indices (FWI).  The authors analyze tundra fire potential in different tundra areas and conclude that most areas will see substantial increase in the number of high-fire-potential days in the next few decades.  This figure shows, for example, the Seward Peninsula and Southwest areas with historical (1951-2005) fire weather indices and modeled with 3 different climate projections to 2095.  Although the Seward Peninsula FWI only exceeded 20 twice in the historical record (1977 & 2005), it is projected to exceed 20 much more frequently in the  next decades.  Read the full article:  French, N. H. F., L. K. Jenkins, T. V. Loboda, M. Flannigan, R. Jandt, L. L. Bourgeau-Chavez, and M. Whitley, 2015: Fire in arctic tundra of Alaska: past fire activity, future fire potential, and significance for land management and ecology. Int. J. Wildland Fire, http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/WF14167.

Historical and projected Fire Weather Index values over Seward Peninsula, from French et al. 2015. Black represents modeled historical FWI and colors represent modeled future FWI for the three IPCC RCPs evaluated.

Historical and projected Fire Weather Index values over Seward Peninsula, from French et al. 2015. Black represents modeled historical FWI  (to 2005) and colors represent modeled future FWI for the three IPCC RCPs evaluated.

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