Skip to page content
USDA Forest Service
  
Treesearch

Research & Development Treesearch

 
Treesearch Home
About Treesearch
Contact Us
Research & Development
Forest Products Lab
International Institute of Tropical Forestry
Northern
Pacific Northwest
Pacific Southwest
Rocky Mountain
Southern Research Station
Help
 

Science.gov - We Participate


USA.gov  Government Made Easy


Global Forest Information Service

US Forest Service
P.O. Box 96090
Washington, D.C.
20090-6090

(202) 205-8333

You are here: Home / Search / Publication Information
Bookmark and Share

Publication Information

View PDF (4.4 MB)

Title: The potential impact of regional climate change on fire weather in the United States

Author: Tang, Ying; Zhong, Shiyuan; Luo, Lifeng; Bian, Xindi; Heilman, Warren E.; Winkler, Julie.;

Date: 2015

Source: Annals of the Association of American Geographers. 105(1): 1-21.

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: Climate change is expected to alter the frequency and severity of atmospheric conditions conducive for wildfires. In this study, we assess potential changes in fire weather conditions for the contiguous United States using the Haines Index (HI), a fire weather index that has been employed operationally to detect atmospheric conditions favorable for large and erratic fire behavior. The index summarizes lower atmosphere stability and dryness into an integer value with higher values indicting more fire-prone conditions. We use simulations produced by the North American Regional Climate Change Assessment Program (NARCCAP) from multiple regional climate models (RCMs) driven by multiple general circulation models (GCMs) to examine changes by midcentury in the seasonal percentage of days and the consecutive number of days with high (values ≥ 5) HI across the United States. Despite differences among the six RCM-GCM combinations in the magnitude and location of the projected changes, the results consistently suggest an increase in the number of days with high HI values over most of the United States during the summer season, with the dryness factor of the HI contributing more than the stability parameter to the projected changes. In addition, the consecutive number of days with high HI is projected to increase in summer. Together, these results suggest that future summers might be more conducive to large and dangerous fires. The projections for other seasons are inconsistent among the model combinations.

Keywords: climate change, Haines Index, NARCCAP, wildfire

Publication Notes:

  • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
  • This publication may be available in hard copy. Check the Northern Research Station web site to request a printed copy of this publication.
  • Our on-line publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat. During the capture process some typographical errors may occur. Please contact Sharon Hobrla, shobrla@fs.fed.us if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.

XML: View XML

Citation:


Tang, Ying; Zhong, Shiyuan; Luo, Lifeng; Bian, Xindi; Heilman, Warren E.; Winkler, Julie. 2015. The potential impact of regional climate change on fire weather in the United States. Annals of the Association of American Geographers. 105(1): 1-21.

 


 [ Get Acrobat ]  Get the latest version of the Adobe Acrobat reader or Acrobat Reader for Windows with Search and Accessibility

USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.