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Wildfires (22 Papers)

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Shortlist Attribution Region SubCategory Year # Citations Cite As DOI Key Quote
Warming California Fires2019 331(Williams et al., 2019) 1972-2018, California experienced a fivefold increase in annual burned area...Based on a regression analysis, the vast majority of the observed increase in summer forest-fire extent since 1972 is accounted for by observed significant increases in warm-season vapor-pressure deficit (caused by warming)
Warming United States Fires2006 3427(Westerling et al., 2006) show that large wildfire activity increased suddenly and markedly in the mid-1980s, with higher large-wildfire frequency, longer wildfire durations, and longer wildfire seasons...strongly associated with increased spring and summer temperatures and an earlier spring snowmelt.
Anthropogenic Canada Fires2004 510Top (Gillett et al., 2004) has been a pronounced upward trend in area burned by wildland fires in Canada over the past three decades...We further show that human-induced climate change has had a detectable influence on the area burned by forest fire in Canada over recent decades...mean temperature is highly correlated with total area burned in Canada (r = 0.77).
Warming United States Fires2016 197(Westerling, 2016) percentage growth in wildfire activity in Pacific northwestern and southwestern US forests has rapidly increased over the last two decades...Wildfire activity appears strongly associated with warming and earlier spring snowmelt
Warming Siberia Fires2016 85(Ponomarev et al., 2016) number and burned area temporal dynamics within all of Siberia and along a south-north transect in central Siberia (45 73 N) were studied...Both the number of forest fires and the size of the burned area increased during recent decades (p < 0.05). Significant correlations were found between forest fires, burned areas and air temperature (r = 0.5) and drought index.
Temporal Canada Fires2018 157(Hanes et al., 2018) paper presents fire-regime trends [in Canada]...for two time periods, 1959-2015 and 1980-2015...results suggest that large fires have been getting larger over the last 57 years and that the fire season has been starting approximately one week earlier and ending one week later...Overall, Canadian forests appear to have been engaged in a trajectory towards more active fire regimes over the last half century.
Temporal Global Fires2015 887(Jolly et al., 2015) 1979 to 2013...we show that fire weather seasons have lengthened across 29.6 million km^2 (25.3%) of the Earth's vegetated surface, resulting in an 18.7% increase in global mean fire weather season length...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.
Anthropogenic United States Fires2016 1234Top (Abatzoglou and Williams, 2016) estimate that human-caused climate change contributed to an additional 4.2 million ha of forest fire area during 1984-2015, nearly doubling the forest fire area expected in its absence.
Anthropogenic Australia Fires2018 70(Dowdy, 2018) weather conditions are examined throughout Australia from gridded daily data from 1950 to 2016...there is a clear trend toward more dangerous conditions during spring and summer in southern Australia, including increased frequency and magnitude of extremes, as well as indicating an earlier start to the fire season. Changes in fire weather conditions are attributable at least in part to anthropogenic climate change, including in relation to increasing temperatures.
Warming Greece Fires2013 59(Koutsias et al., 2013) fire records and meteorological observations, spanning more than 1 century (1894-2010), were gathered and assembled in a database... fire occurrence, expressed as the annual number of fires and total burnt area, was strongly correlated with the mean maximum and the absolute maximum air temperature
Anthropogenic Australia Fires2019 59(Harris and Lucas, 2019) fire weather shows spatiotemporal variability on interannual and multi-decadal time scales...on longer time scales (45 years), linear trends are upward at most stations...we propose that anthropogenic climate change is the primary driver of the trend, through both higher mean temperatures and potentially through associated shifts in large-scale rainfall patterns.
Temporal United States Fires2014 758(Dennison et al., 2014) 1984-2011...over the western U.S. and in a majority of ecoregions, we found significant, increasing trends in the number of large fires and/or total large fire area per year. Trends were most significant for southern and mountain ecoregions, coinciding with trends toward increased drought severity. For all ecoregions combined, the number of large fires increased at a rate of seven fires per year, while total fire area increased at a rate of 355 km2 per year.
Warming Canada Fires2006 345(Kasischke & Turetsky, 2006) the early 1960s, increases in the number of individual fire events and in the size of fires both contributed to more frequent occurrence of large fire years across the NABR...these observations are consistent with predictions that climate warming will result in longer fire seasons.
Temporal Australia Fires2012 100(Clarke et al., 2012) data set of observed fire weather in Australia from 1973-2010 is analysed for trends using the McArthur Forest Fire Danger Index (FFDI)...the multi-station mean shows that on average across Australia, there has been an increase in annual cumulative FFDI since 1973 of 212 points per decade.
Warming United States Fires2020 210(Goss et al., 2020) show that state-wide increases in autumn temperature (~1 C) and decreases in autumn precipitation (~30%) over the past four decades have contributed to increases in aggregate fire weather indices (+20%). As a result, the observed frequency of autumn days with extreme (95th percentile) fire weather which we show are preferentially associated with extreme autumn wildfires has more than doubled in California since the early 1980s.
Warming Iraq Fires2020 7(Rasul et al., 2020) 2001 to 2019...the trend of burned areas in Iraq was an increase of 71.7 km2 per year...high maximum air temperature and wind speed are the main factors that contribute to increasing burned areas
Temporal United States Fires2020 24(Khorshidi et al., 2020) Southern California very large fires and 'megafires' are more strongly associated with multiple drivers exceeding moderate thresholds concurrently...days with concurrent fire drivers exceeding thresholds have increased more rapidly over the past four decades than individual drivers, leading to a tripling of annual 'megafire critical danger days'.
Warming United States Fires2020 123(Parks and Abatzoglou, 2020) show that area burned at high severity increased across most of the study area, with an overall eightfold increase in western US forests from 1985 to 2017. Furthermore, warmer and drier fire seasons corresponded with higher severity fire, indicating that continued climate change may result in increased fire severity in future decades.
Warming California Fires2021 9(Dong et al., 2021) has experienced more wildfires in recent, 1535 California wildfires during 1984-2017 are systematically investigated...most (60%) wildfires occurred on hot/dry burned area by wildfires has significantly increased by 3.6% per year, indicating a doubling of burned area in 2017 relative to 1984, mainly dominated by hot/dry wildfires in summer. Drying and warming in conjunction with strengthening of the high pressure in summer and fall have the potential to support more frequent and larger hot/dry wildfires in California during the past several decades.
Anthropogenic Australia Fires2021 50(Canadell et al., 2021) area in Australia's forests shows a linear positive annual trend but an exponential increase during autumn and winter...the increase in forest burned area is consistent with increasingly more dangerous fire weather conditions...all associated to varying degrees with anthropogenic climate change.
Warming Alaska Fires2022 1(Sierra-Hernandez et al., 2022) BC record from Bona-Churchill reveals that high fire activity became more frequent after 1984 in agreement with Alaska fire records...strongly suggesting that temperature became a more dominant factor influencing fire activity in Alaska after the 1980s as suggested by other studies.
Anthropogenic California & Oregon Fires2022 (Hawkins et al., 2022) show that while present-day anthropogenic climate change has slightly decreased the prevalence of strong offshore downslope winds, it has increased the likelihood of extreme fire weather indices by 40% in areas where recent autumn wind-driven fires have occurred in northern California and Oregon. These findings illustrate that anthropogenic climate change is exacerbating autumn fire weather extremes that contribute to high-impact catastrophic fires in populated regions of the western US.

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