Full Citation: Pechony, O.; Shindell, D.T. 2010. Driving forces of global wildfires over the past millennium and the forthcoming century. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 107(45):19167-19170.
External Identifier(s): 10.1073/pnas.1003669107 Digital Object Identifier
Location: Global
Ecosystem types: None specified
Southwest FireCLIME Keywords: None
FRAMES Keywords: fire modeling, fire regime, biomass burning, human interactions, global fire activity, paleoclimate, fire trends, air temperature, biomass, charcoal, cover, fire management, fire regimes, fire size, climate change, ignition, paleoclimatology, population density, precipitation, suppression, temperature, vegetation surveys, wildfires

Driving forces of global wildfires over the past millennium and the forthcoming century

Olga Pechony, Drew T. Shindell


Summary - what did the authors do and why?

The authors developed a model that estimates fire activity based on vegetation and climate/weather conditions as well as availability of ignition sources and fire suppression rates globally. The projected their model to determine how climate may affect future global fire trends.


Publication findings:

The authors reconstruction of past fire activity suggests that until the late 18th century fire was driven mostly by climate. Specifically, they found that variation in global precipitation had the strongest influence on global fire activity. Post Industrial Revolution, anthropogenic activities had a stronger influence on global fire trends. Finally, predictions in future warming due to climate change suggest an imminent shift to temperature-driven global fire activity over the next century.

Climate and Fire Linkages

The authors reconstruction of past fire activity suggests that until the late 18th century fire was driven mostly by climate. Specifically, they found that variation in global precipitation had the strongest influence on global fire activity. Post Industrial Revolution, anthropogenic activities had a stronger influence on global fire trends. Finally, predictions in future warming due to climate change suggest an imminent shift to temperature-driven global fire activity over the next century.

The authors reconstruction of past fire activity suggests that until the late 18th century fire was driven mostly by climate. Specifically, they found that variation in global precipitation had the strongest influence on global fire activity. Post Industrial Revolution, anthropogenic activities had a stronger influence on global fire trends. Finally, predictions in future warming due to climate change suggest an imminent shift to temperature-driven global fire activity over the next century.