Climate change and associated fire potential for the south-eastern United States in the 21st century

  • Authors: Bedel, Anthony P.; Mote, Thomas L.; Goodrick, Scott L.
  • Publication Year: 2013
  • Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
  • Source: International Journal of Wildland Fire
  • DOI: 10.1071/WF13018

Abstract

Climate models indicate that the climate of the south-eastern US will experience increasing temperatures and associated evapotranspiration in the 21st century. The current study found that conditions in the south-eastern US will likely become drier overall, given a warmer environment during future winter and spring seasons. This study examined the potential effects of a warmer climate in the 21st century on relevant meteorological fire parameters (e.g. total and convective precipitation, 500-hPa geopotential heights, near-surface relative humidity) and popular fire indices (e.g. Haines and Keetch–Byram Drought Indices) in the south-eastern US. Although the results offered conflicting implications in portions of the study domain, the southern half of the south-eastern US (including the Deep South, the southern Piedmont and Florida) exhibited the highest potential for increasing fire activity in the mid-21st century, given maximum warming and drying in these areas, especially in the spring season.

  • Citation: Bedel, Anthony P.; Mote, Thomas L.; Goodrick, Scott L. 2013. Climate change and associated fire potential for the south-eastern United States in the 21st century. International Journal of Wildland Fire 2013, 22, 1034–1043. 10 p.
  • Keywords: forest fires, Haines Index, KBDI.
  • Posted Date: October 24, 2014
  • Modified Date: October 24, 2014
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