Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub
    Author(s): Ying Tang; Shiyuan Zhong; Lifeng Luo; Xindi BianWarren E. Heilman; Julie. Winkler
    Date: 2015
    Source: Annals of the Association of American Geographers. 105(1): 1-21.
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Northern Research Station
    PDF: View PDF  (4.44 MB)

    Description

    Climate change is expected to alter the frequency and severity of atmospheric conditions conducive for wildfires. In this study, we assess potential changes in fire weather conditions for the contiguous United States using the Haines Index (HI), a fire weather index that has been employed operationally to detect atmospheric conditions favorable for large and erratic fire behavior. The index summarizes lower atmosphere stability and dryness into an integer value with higher values indicting more fire-prone conditions. We use simulations produced by the North American Regional Climate Change Assessment Program (NARCCAP) from multiple regional climate models (RCMs) driven by multiple general circulation models (GCMs) to examine changes by midcentury in the seasonal percentage of days and the consecutive number of days with high (values ≥ 5) HI across the United States. Despite differences among the six RCM-GCM combinations in the magnitude and location of the projected changes, the results consistently suggest an increase in the number of days with high HI values over most of the United States during the summer season, with the dryness factor of the HI contributing more than the stability parameter to the projected changes. In addition, the consecutive number of days with high HI is projected to increase in summer. Together, these results suggest that future summers might be more conducive to large and dangerous fires. The projections for other seasons are inconsistent among the model combinations.

    Publication Notes

    • Check the Northern Research Station web site to request a printed copy of this publication.
    • Our on-line publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat.
    • During the capture process some typographical errors may occur.
    • Please contact Sharon Hobrla, shobrla@fs.fed.us if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.
    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.

    Citation

    Tang, Ying; Zhong, Shiyuan; Luo, Lifeng; Bian, Xindi; Heilman, Warren E.; Winkler, Julie. 2015. The potential impact of regional climate change on fire weather in the United States. Annals of the Association of American Geographers. 105(1): 1-21.

    Cited

    Google Scholar

    Keywords

    climate change, Haines Index, NARCCAP, wildfire

    Related Search


    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page