Improving PREdictability of circumboREAL forest fire activity and its ecological and socio-economic impacts through multi-proxy data comparisons
Forest fires are both an important factor of natural dynamics in many Northern Hemisphere forests and a natural hazard which causes large economic losses in boreal countries. Future forest fire activity will likely increase. To address this dynamics, we need a better understanding of the climatic drivers of fires, especially during seasons with increased fire activity when our capacity to control fires is limited. PREREAL aims to predict such periods through analyses of modern, century and millennia long records of historic fire activity, climate variation, and ocean temperature.
PREREAL synthesizes the information of the historical fire activityacross the boreal (taiga) zone of the Northern Hemisphere. We synthesize data from various fields to provide mechanistic interpretation of trends and patterns in historical and modern fires.
PREREAL creates an operational systemthat predicts forest fire risks across this region prior to the start of the fire season. We already demonstrated a strong connection between ocean temperatures and fire activity in sections of the boreal zone and sufficiently high levels of predictability of fire risk based on the weather conditions in the previous months.
PREREAL establishes thresholds and ranges of variabilityin historical fire activity across the circumboreal forest.
I am a forest teacher Igor Drobyshev, (Docent).I am an ecologist with interest in historical disturbance regimes, climate-disturbance interactions, and tree growth patterns. I strongly believe in the value of large scale analyses to get a better picture of the processes which affect forest dynamics and tree-ring science (dendrochronology) as an important tool in this work.
• Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), Sweden, coordinates the project, supervises the dendrochronological work, supplies the main data on the dendrochronological fire reconstructions, and provides expertise in the downscaling of climate scenarios and numeric modeling.
• University of Montpellier, France, is responsible for for paleo-chronological analyses and process-based modeling of climate-fire-vegetation. It calibrates and geographically analyses dynamics of fire weather indices and its future projections.
• Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute, Netherlands has the overall responsibility for climatic analyses, development of predictability metrics and the numerical modeling of historical, modern, and future climate data. It will assist the Canadian and Swedish teams in analyzing ocean-climate-fire linkages at different temporal scales.
• University of Science and Technology of China, China, co- analyses fire history data across the Eurasian boreal zone.
• Norwegian Inst. for Nature Research (NINA), Norway analyzes the sensitivity of northern boreal vegetation to fire and climate impacts. Together with the Canadian researchers, the institute analyses ocean circulation affecting fire weather.
• Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM), Canada, (a self-financed non-Belmont partner) provides expertise on the modeling of fire weather conditions, their evolution over the Holocene and in modern times. It develops predictability metrics, GCM and their downscaling, ocean circulation, a. It provides knowledge of socio-economic impacts of fires.
• University of Helsinki, Finland (a self-financed non-Belmont partner) contributes expertise on fire ecology across Eurasian boreal forests and in the analysis of social impacts.
• Forest Research Institute, Karelia, Russia (a self-financed non-Belmont partner) contribute to the paleo- and dendrochronological analyses of fire activity and is the main coordinator of activities over the Russian section of the boreal zone.
• Icelandic Forest Research, Iceland (a self-financed non-Belmont partner) contributes knowledge of ocean circulation in the North Atlantic region, and dendrochronological data relevant for PREREAL projects.
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Call for Climate Services Collaborative Research action on Climate Predictability and Inter-regional Linkages
Climate Services aim at providing more reliable climate information for the near future (months to decades) relevant for local and regional users. Within this broad context, variability of polar and tropical systems affects a large proportion of the world population. This call with the Belmont Forum aimed to contribute to the overall challenge of developing climate services with a focus on inter-regional linkages role in climate variability and predictability. Eight multi-national projects have been selected for funding through this call.
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