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Open AccessArticle

Potential Effects of Climate Change on Fire Behavior, Economic Susceptibility and Suppression Costs in Mediterranean Ecosystems: Córdoba Province, Spain

1
Department of Forest Engineering, University of Córdoba, Edificio Leonardo da Vinci-Campus de Rabanales, 14071 Córdoba, Spain
2
Formerly Research Economist at PSW USDA Forest Service, President of Fire Economics and Management Solutions, Riverside, CA 92507, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Forests 2019, 10(8), 679; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10080679
Received: 31 May 2019 / Revised: 5 August 2019 / Accepted: 8 August 2019 / Published: 11 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Fires under Climate, Social and Economic Changes)
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Abstract

The potentially large ecological, economic, and societal impacts of climate change makes it a significant problem of the 21st century. These consequences have led to tremendous development in climate change scenarios and new technologies to increase knowledge on the effect and efficiency of mitigation and adaptation measures. Large fires will occur at a higher rate than currently because of lower fuel moisture content resulting in a lower resistance to burning. This is also evidenced by more extreme fire behavior that contributes to higher economic impacts, suppression difficulties and suppression costs. The economic susceptibility concept integrates a set of economic valuation approaches for valuing timber and non-timber resources, considering the fire behavior, and as a consequence, the net value changes for each resource. Flame length increased by 4.6% to 15.69%, according to the different future climate scenarios. Climate change is expected to cause widespread changes to economic susceptibility and suppression costs because of higher flame length and fire intensity. Therefore, our outcomes show an increase in the economic susceptibility of Córdoba Province in the medium and long term (2041–2070) between 6.05% and 25.99%, respectively. In addition, we have found an increase between 65.67% and 86.73% in suppression costs in the last decade. The digital version of the economic susceptibility model using Geographic Information Systems improves its operational capabilities enhancing also its dynamism and simplicity to accept modifications and predictions revisions. View Full-Text
Keywords: fire management; fire susceptibility; net value change; fire intensity level; aerial and terrestrial firefighting resources fire management; fire susceptibility; net value change; fire intensity level; aerial and terrestrial firefighting resources
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Molina, J.R.; González-Cabán, A.; Rodríguez y Silva, F. Potential Effects of Climate Change on Fire Behavior, Economic Susceptibility and Suppression Costs in Mediterranean Ecosystems: Córdoba Province, Spain. Forests 2019, 10, 679.

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