Study Reveals an Unprecedented Change in Europe’s Fire Regime


A study reveals an unprecedented change in the fire regime in Europe which is related to climate change. 

A study reveals an unprecedented change in the fire regime in Europe which is related to climate change. The affected areas are in Southern, Central and Northern Europe but this historical change in Europe’s fire regime is more intense in the Mediterranean area. The study, published in the journal Scientific Reports, is led by Jofre Carnicer, lecturer of Ecology at the Faculty of Biology, and member of the Biodiversity Research Institute (IRBio) of the University of Barcelona and the Centre for Ecological Research and Forestry Applications (CREAF).

Among the authors of the study are distinguished climatologists, experts on forest fire risks and forestry ecology, members of an international consortium of research institutions in which the UB, CREAF the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF), Institute for Environmental Research and Sustainable Development of the National Observatory of Athens, the European Space Agency (ESRIN), the University of Salento (Italy), and the University of Patras (Greece) –take part.

Spring and Summer Seasons with a High Fire Risk

The study detected summer and spring seasons with unprecedented values of fire risks over the last years, so many areas of southern Europe and the Mediterranean are reaching extreme conditions conducive to fires. These adverse conditions are becoming more frequent due to the increasing heatwaves and hydrological droughts.

“This increase in extreme fire risk is quite recent and at critical times it exceeds the fire-fighting capabilities of European societies, causing higher CO2 emissions associated with fire in extremely hot and dry summers”, notes Jofre Carnicer, first author of the study and member of the Department of Evolutionary Biology, Ecology and Environmental Sciences of the UB.

Read more at University of Barcelona

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