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Future fire in Canada's boreal forest: paleoecology results and general circulation model - regional climate model simulations

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General circulation model simulations suggest the Earth's climate will be 1–3.5°C warmer by AD 2100. This will influence disturbances such as forest fires, which are important to circumpolar boreal forest dynamics and, hence, the global carbon cycle. Many suggest climate warming will cause increased fire activity and area burned. Here, we use the Canadian Forest Fire Weather Index to simulate future forest fire danger, showing the expected increase in most of Canada but with significant regional variability including a decrease in much of eastern Canada. These results are in general agreement with paleoecological data and general circulation model results from the 6000 calendar years BP interval, which was a time of a warmer climate that may be an analogue for a future climate.

Les simulations effectuées avec le modèle de la circulation générale indiquent que le climat de la terre se réchauffera de 1 à 3,5°C vers 2100 A.D. Ce réchauffement aura un impact sur les perturbations telles les feux de forêt, qui jouent un rôle important dans la dynamique de la forêt boréale circumpolaire et par conséquent dans le cycle global du carbone. Plusieurs avancent que le réchauffement du climat causera une augmentation des feux et des superficies brûlées. Dans cette étude, nous avons utilisé l'indice forêt météo canadien pour simuler les risques futurs de feux de forêt et démontrer l'augmentation prévue presque partout au Canada, avec cependant d'importantes variations régionales dont une diminution presque partout dans l'Est du Canada. Dans l'ensemble, ces résultats concordent avec les données paléo-écologiques et les résultats du modèle de la circulation générale pour l'intervalle correspondant à 6000 années de calendrier antérieures à aujourd'hui, qui a connu un climat plus chaud pouvant ressembler au climat futur.[Traduit par la Rédaction]

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2001

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  • Published since 1971, this monthly journal features articles, reviews, notes and commentaries on all aspects of forest science, including biometrics and mensuration, conservation, disturbance, ecology, economics, entomology, fire, genetics, management, operations, pathology, physiology, policy, remote sensing, social science, soil, silviculture, wildlife and wood science, contributed by internationally respected scientists. It also publishes special issues dedicated to a topic of current interest.
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