This study provides a first examination of global disruptions to fire activity using an empirically based statistical framework and a multi-model ensemble of global climate models (GCM) projections, an important step toward assessing fire-related vulnerabilities to humans and the ecosystems upon which they depend.
The authors assert that future disruptions to fire activity will threaten ecosystems and human well-being throughout the world, yet there are few fire projections at global scales and almost none from a broad range of GCMs. Here, the authors integrate global fire datasets and environmental covariates to build spatial statistical models of fire probability at a 0.5° resolution and examine environmental controls on fire activity. Although the global models demonstrate that long-term environmental norms are very successful at capturing chronic fire probability patterns, future work is necessary to assess how much more explanatory power would be added through interannual variation in climate variables.
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