Last updated October 10, 2018

Climate-induced variations in global wildfire danger from 1979 to 2013

  • States that climate strongly influences global wildfire activity, and recent wildfire surges may signal fire weather-induced pyrogeographic shifts
  • Uses three daily global climate data sets and three fire danger indices to develop a simple annual metric of fire weather season length, and map spatio-temporal trends from 1979 to 2013
  • Shows that fire weather seasons have lengthened across 29.6 million km2 (25.3%) of the Earth’s vegetated surface, resulting in an 18.7% increase in global mean fire weather season length
  • Shows that a doubling (108.1% increase) of global burnable area affected by long fire weather seasons (>1.0 σ above the historical mean) and an increased global frequency of long fire weather seasons across 62.4 million km2 (53.4%) during the second half of the study period
  • States that if these fire weather changes are coupled with ignition sources and available fuel, they could markedly impact global ecosystems, societies, economies and climate