Climate change and forest fires

The danger of forest fires in Mediterranean regions is expected to increase in coming decades, owing to drier climatic conditions in summer. A recent study of the Institute of Geosciences and Earth Resources of CNR, jointly with the Universities of Barcelona, Lisbon and California at Irvine, has analyzed available forest fire and climatic data, developing empirical models able to quantitatively estimate the danger of forest fires and the expected burned area based on summer aridity conditions.

Most forest fires are triggered by direct human activities, but the extent of the burned area is largely controlled by the prevailing climatic conditions.

Reference: Turco M., von Hardenberg J., AghaKouchak A., Llasat M. C., Provenzale A., Trigo R. M. (2017). On the key role of droughts in the dynamics of summer fires in Mediterranean Europe. Scientific Reports, 7: 81, 2017, DOI:10.1038/s41598-017-00116-9.

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