Fire history and climate change in giant sequoia groves

Author: Swetnam, T.W. Description: Fire scars in giant sequoia [Sequoiadendron giganteum (Lindley) Buchholz] were used to reconstruct the spatial and temporal pattern of surface fires that burned episodically through five groves during the past 2000 years. Comparisons with independent dendroclimatic reconstructions indicate that regionally synchronous fire occurrence was inversely related to yearly fluctuations in precipitation and directly related to decadal-to-centennial variations in temperature. Frequent small fires occurred during a warm period from about A.D. 1000 to 1300, and less frequent but more widespread fires occurred during cooler periods from about…

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Climate change increases risk of extreme rainfall following wildfire in the western United States

Author: Touma, Danielle; Stevenson, Samantha; Swain, Daniel L.; Singh, Deepti; Kalashnikov, Dmitri A.; Huang, Xingying Description: Post-wildfire extreme rainfall events can have destructive impacts in the western United States. Using two climate model large ensembles, we assess the future risk of extreme fire weather events being followed by extreme rainfall in this region. By mid-21st century, in a high warming scenario (RCP8.5), we report large increases in the number of extreme fire weather events followed within 1 year by at least one extreme rainfall event. By 2100, the frequency of…

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Exploring the role of fire, succession, climate, and weather on landscape dynamics using comparative modeling

Author: Keane, R.E.; Cary, G.J.; Flannigan, M.D.; Parsons, R.A.; Davies, I.D.; King, K.J.; Li, C.; Bradstock, R.A.; Gill, M. Description: An assessment of the relative importance of vegetation change and disturbance as agents of landscape change under current and future climates would (1) provide insight into the controls of landscape dynamics, (2) help inform the design and development of coarse scale spatially explicit ecosystem models such as Dynamic Global Vegetation Models (DGVMs), and (3) guide future land management and planning. However, quantification of landscape change from vegetation development and disturbance…

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Forest fires in a changing climate and their impacts on air quality

Author: Carvalho, A.; Monteiro, A.; Flannigan, M.; Solman, S.; Miranda, A.I.; Borrego, C. Description: In a future climate scenario, forest fire activity over Portugal will substantially increase and consequently area burned and forest fire emissions to the atmosphere are also expected to increase. This study investigated the impact of future forest fire emissions on air quality over Portugal under the IPCC SRES A2 scenario. Reference and future climate change scenarios were simulated using the MM5/CHIMERE air quality modelling system, which was applied over Europe and over Portugal, using nesting capabilities….

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Observed Impacts of Anthropogenic Climate Change on Wildfire in California

Author: Williams, A.P.; Abatzoglou, J.T.; Gershunov, A.; Guzman-Morales, J.; Bishop, D.A.; Balch, J.K.; Lettenmaier, D.P. Description: Recent fire seasons have fueled intense speculation regarding the effect of anthropogenic climate change on wildfire in western North America and especially in California. During 1972-2018, California experienced a fivefold increase in annual burned area, mainly due to more than an eightfold increase in summer forest-fire extent. Increased summer forest-fire area very likely occurred due to increased atmospheric aridity caused by warming. Since the early 1970s, warm-season days warmed by approximately 1.4 °C as…

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Climate change and wildfire in California

Westerling, A.L., Bryant, B.P. (2008) Climatic Change, 87(S1), 231-249 Wildfire risks for California under four climatic change scenarios were statistically modeled as functions of climate, hydrology, and topography. Wildfire risks for the GFDL and PCM global climate models and the A2 and B1 emissions scenarios were compared for 2005-2034, 2035-2064, and 2070-2099 against a modeled 1961-1990 reference period in California and neighboring states. Outcomes for the GFDL model runs, which exhibit higher temperatures than the PCM model runs, diverged sharply for different kinds of fire regimes, with increased temperatures promoting…

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Grassland Climax, Fire, and Man

Author: Sauer, C.O. Description: ECOLOGY has instructed us that plant societies may strike such happy balance with their environment and between their members as to form a stable, in-definitely reproducing order, called a climax vegetation. The concept may have merit at an introductory level of study, when it is good to make the simplest designs of species association. Such simplification of vegetation type and geographic area may be misleading, however,like other regional classifications in which habitat and habit are unified. It becomesseriously misleading if a static view of relation of…

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Diabetes and climate change: current evidence and implications for people with diabetes, clinicians and policy stakeholders

Author: Ratter-Rieck, Jacqueline M.; Roden, Michael; Herder, Christian Description: Climate change will be a major challenge for the world’s health systems in the coming decades. Elevated temperatures and increasing frequencies of heat waves, wildfires, heavy precipitation and other weather extremes can affect health in many ways, especially if chronic diseases are already present. Impaired responses to heat stress, including compromised vasodilation and sweating, diabetes-related comorbidities, insulin resistance and chronic low-grade inflammation make people with diabetes particularly vulnerable to environmental risk factors, such as extreme weather events and air pollution. Additionally,…

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Combined Effect of Hot Weather and Outdoor Air Pollution on Respiratory Health: Literature Review

Author: Grigorieva, Elena; Lukyanets, Artem Description: Association between short-term exposure to ambient air pollution and respiratory health is well documented. At the same time, it is widely known that extreme weather events intrinsically exacerbate air pollution impact. Particularly, hot weather and extreme temperatures during heat waves (HW) significantly affect human health, increasing risks of respiratory mortality and morbidity. Concurrently, a synergistic effect of air pollution and high temperatures can be combined with weather-air pollution interaction during wildfires. The purpose of the current review is to summarize literature on interplay of…

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Risky Development: Increasing Exposure to Natural Hazards in the United States

Author: Iglesias, Virginia; Braswell, Anna E.; Rossi, Matthew W.; Joseph, Maxwell B.; McShane, Caitlin; Cattau, Megan; Koontz, Michael J.; McGlinchy, Joe; Nagy, R. Chelsea; Balch, Jennifer; Leyk, Stefan; Travis, William R. Description: Losses from natural hazards are escalating dramatically, with more properties and critical infrastructure affected each year. Although the magnitude, intensity, and/or frequency of certain hazards has increased, development contributes to this unsustainable trend, as disasters emerge when natural disturbances meet vulnerable assets and populations. To diagnose development patterns leading to increased exposure in the conterminous United States (CONUS),…

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