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Article

Multi-Model Forecasts of Very-Large Fire Occurences during the End of the 21st Century

1
College of the Environment Special Programs, Quantitative Ecology & Resource Management (QERM), University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA
2
Pacific Wildland Fire Sciences Laboratory, U.S. Forest Service, 400 N. 34th St #201, Seattle, WA 98103, USA
3
Department of Statistics and School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA
4
Daniel J. Evans School of Public Policy and Governance, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA
5
Pacific Wildland Fire Sciences Laboratory, School of Environmental and Forest Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Climate 2018, 6(4), 100; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli6040100
Received: 9 November 2018 / Revised: 12 December 2018 / Accepted: 13 December 2018 / Published: 19 December 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Variability and Change in the 21th Century)
Climate change is anticipated to influence future wildfire activity in complicated, and potentially unexpected ways. Specifically, the probability distribution of wildfire size may change so that incidents that were historically rare become more frequent. Given that fires in the upper tails of the size distribution are associated with serious economic, public health, and environmental impacts, it is important for decision-makers to plan for these anticipated changes. However, at least two kinds of structural uncertainties hinder reliable estimation of these quantities—those associated with the future climate and those associated with the impacts. In this paper, we incorporate these structural uncertainties into projections of very-large fire (VLF)—those in the upper 95th percentile of the regional size distribution—frequencies in the Continental United States during the last half of the 21st century by using Bayesian model averaging. Under both moderate and high carbon emission scenarios, large increases in VLF frequency are predicted, with larger increases typically observed under the highest carbon emission scenarios. We also report other changes to future wildfire characteristics such as large fire frequency, seasonality, and the conditional likelihood of very-large fire events. View Full-Text
Keywords: mega-fires; Bayesian-model averaging; model uncertainty; climate-fire models mega-fires; Bayesian-model averaging; model uncertainty; climate-fire models
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MDPI and ACS Style

Podschwit, H.R.; Larkin, N.K.; Steel, E.A.; Cullen, A.; Alvarado, E. Multi-Model Forecasts of Very-Large Fire Occurences during the End of the 21st Century. Climate 2018, 6, 100. https://doi.org/10.3390/cli6040100

AMA Style

Podschwit HR, Larkin NK, Steel EA, Cullen A, Alvarado E. Multi-Model Forecasts of Very-Large Fire Occurences during the End of the 21st Century. Climate. 2018; 6(4):100. https://doi.org/10.3390/cli6040100

Chicago/Turabian Style

Podschwit, Harry R., Narasimhan K. Larkin, E. Ashley Steel, Alison Cullen, and Ernesto Alvarado. 2018. "Multi-Model Forecasts of Very-Large Fire Occurences during the End of the 21st Century" Climate 6, no. 4: 100. https://doi.org/10.3390/cli6040100

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