Forest fire danger projections in the Mediterranean using ENSEMBLES regional climate change scenarios
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AuthorBedía Jiménez, Joaquín; Herrera García, Sixto; Camia, Andrea; Moreno Rodríguez, José Manuel; Gutiérrez Llorente, José Manuel
We present future fire danger scenarios for the countries bordering the Mediterranean areas of Europe and north Africa building on a multi-model ensemble of state-of-the-art regional climate projections from the EU-funded project ENSEMBLES. Fire danger is estimated using the Canadian Forest Fire Weather Index (FWI) System and a related set of indices. To overcome some of the limitations of ENSEMBLES data for their application on the FWI System?recently highlighted in a previous study by Herrera et al. (Clim Chang 118:827?840, 2013)?we used an optimal proxy variable combination. A robust assessment of future fire danger projections is undertaken by disentangling the climate change signal from the uncertainty derived from the multi-model ensemble, unveiling a positive signal of fire danger potential over large areas of the Mediterranean. The increase in the fire danger signal is accentuated towards the latest part of the transient period, thus pointing to an elevated fire potential in the region with time. The fire-climate links under present and future conditions are further discussed building upon observed climate data and burned area records along a representative climatic gradient within the study region.