Title: How much has human-caused climate change influenced wildfire extent across western US forests?

Abstract: Wildfire activity across western US forests has seen substantial variability over the past century with changes in human settlement, fire management policies, and climate variability. Since the mid 1980s, the amount of fire across western US forests has increased 8-fold leading to a cascade of impacts including widespread forest mortality, carbon emissions, periods of degraded air quality, and substantial fire suppression expenditures. Although numerous factors aided the recent rise in fire activity, observed warming and drying have significantly increased fire-season fuel aridity, fostering a more favorable fire environment across forested systems. Human-caused climate change was responsible for half of the documented increases in fuel aridity since the 1970s and contributed to a substantial increase in forest fire extent over the past three decades.

Speaker Information

Name: 

John Abatzoglou

Title: 

Associate Professor

Department: 

Department of Geography

Affiliation: 

University of Idaho

Host: 

Gudrun Magnusdottir

Date and Time: 

Wednesday, April 26, 2017 - 2:00pm

Location: 

The Jenkins Room | Croul Hall 3101