A Three-Tiered Approach to Assessing Changes in Fire Danger in the Northern Rockies under Different Climate Change Projections

Shared by Matthew Lammers on Aug 05, 2013


Author(s) :
Anthony DiBiase, Andrew Kumler, Matthew Lammers

This project looks at three methods assessing the impacts projected climate change could have on wildland fire danger and behavior in the Greater Glacier National Park region. At 800-meter resolution, Drought Code, a component of CFFDRS was calculated for daily output of multiple models within CMIP5. Using TOPS, modifications to fuel loading and gross primary productivity were assessed. Finally, in locations found to be most susceptible to increased fire danger, we ran the WRF model with the SFIRE extension to compare shifts in fire spread regime based on atmospheric projections and anticipated shifts in vegetation type. Our study found that monthly mean values of Drought Code for the summer months are anticipated to increase under most climate projections, and critically high values of Drought Code are anticipated to spread into regions currently believed to be less susceptible to fire. Modeled runs generated from WRF-FIRE demonstrate significantly greater wildfire impacts compared to a baseline current scenario.

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