- Related Research Areas
- Carbon Cycle & Ecosystems
The largest and most destructive fires in Southern California occur during intense Santa Ana wind events. Over the past decade, these fires have incurred billions of dollars in costs associated with fire fighting, damages to property from both fire and erosion, and impacts on human health. Predicting how these fires are likely to change in the future requires a multi-disciplinary approach that accounts for climate change effects on regional winds and ecosystems, other global change impacts on ecosystems at the urban/rural interface, changing patterns of land use, and responses of land and fire managers to this evolving system. Here we propose to study this system with the aim of improving our capability to mitigate the damages caused by these fires. We plan to address following science questions: 1) How variable are winds across Southern California during Santa Ana events and how are these winds likely to change in the future? 2) How have recent changes in the fire regime changed the composition of ecosystems and their vulnerability to future fires? 3) Will ecosystem responses to climate change over the next several decades increase or decrease the probability of intense Santa Ana fires? 4) How does smoke and dust transported by Santa Ana winds affect human health and regional biogeochemical cycles? and 5) What are the consequences of projected changes in land use for the dynamics of these fires? We plan to work closely with Orange County and Los Angeles fire and land managers, drawing upon their experience to guide our lines of science inquiry and to help formulate strategies for adaptation and mitigation.
Project PI: Yufang Jin/University of California, Irvine
3206 Croul Hall Department of Earth System Science University of California Irvine, CA 92697-3100
Phone: (949) 824-6174
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