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Home > Journals > SCIREA Journal of Forestry > Archive > Paper Information

Fire risk in the Greater Alpine Region from CMIP5 climate models

Volume 1, Issue 1, October 2016    |    PP. 1-23    |PDF (1715 K)|    Pub. Date: October 16, 2016
253 Downloads     2207 Views  

Author(s)
Barbarino Simona, Arpa Piemonte (Regional Agency for Environmental Protection), Torino, Italy; CNR ISAC Institute of Atmospheric Sciences and Climate, Torino, Italy
Cane Daniele, Arpa Piemonte (Regional Agency for Environmental Protection), Torino, Italy
von Hardenberg Jost, CNR ISAC Institute of Atmospheric Sciences and Climate, Torino, Italy
Pelosini Renata, Arpa Piemonte (Regional Agency for Environmental Protection), Torino, Italy
Provenzale Antonello, CNR IGG Institute of Geosciences and Earth Resources, Pisa, Italy

Abstract
Wildfires strongly impact Central and Southern Europe. While the Mediterranean basin represents the region most prone to severe fire events, recently Alpine regions experienced an increasing number of summer forest fires. Additionally, current climate projections indicate that the Alps are especially exposed to temperature rise, leading to more suitable conditions for the forest fires ignition. The assessment of fire risk worldwide is provided by fire weather indices, closely related to daily meteorological conditions: they give information on both current fire risk and potential fire behaviour. In this study, we investigate the application of Atmosphere–Ocean Global Climate Model simulations, performed in the fifth phase of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5), in order to evaluate fire risk over the alpine regions in the coming decades. Climate projections are used to estimate the Fire Weather Index and the Fine Fuel Moisture Code, based on the Canadian Forest Fire Danger Rating System. We perform a preliminary analysis aimed at the skill assessment of these models in describing wildfires: the weather variables required by fire indices and the fires indices themselves are examinated comparing the CMIP5 historical simulations with the corresponding ERA-INTERIM reanalysis. The good skill revealed by CMIP5 simulations provide a quantitative basis for estimating future fire risk. At this aim, we adopt the radiative forcing scenario Representative Concentration Pathways RCP45, to evaluate changes in fire risk across the Alps over the 21st century. A general increase of mean and extreme fire events weather conditions is expected, particularly south of the Alps.

Keywords
Climate change, forest fires, Alps, adaptation, climate models,Fire Weather Index (FWI), CMIP5, rcp45

Cite this paper
Barbarino Simona, Cane Daniele, von Hardenberg Jost, Pelosini Renata, Provenzale Antonello, Fire risk in the Greater Alpine Region from CMIP5 climate models, SCIREA Journal of Forestry. Vol. 1 , No. 1 , 2016 , pp. 1 - 23 .

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