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Webinar: Anthropogenically-driven increases in extreme fire weather conditions and subsequent extreme precipitation events

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Tuesday, 04 May 2021, 1:00

Tuesday, May 4, 2021. 1:00 PM. Webinar: Anthropogenically-driven increases in extreme fire weather conditions and subsequent extreme precipitation events. Danielle Touma, University of California, Santa Barbara. Sponsored by NCAR/UCAR. More information here.

Anthropogenic climate change is already driving large increases in wildfire frequency and extent globally, a trend expected to continue throughout the 21st century. In this talk, I disentangle the roles of anthropogenic aerosol and greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions, biomass burning and land use/land cover change on extreme fire weather – i.e., dry, warm, and windy conditions that lead to fire ignition and spread. By leveraging the CESM “all-forcing” and “all-but-one-forcing” Large Ensemble experiments, we show that historical greenhouse gas emissions have increased the risk of extreme fire weather in recent decades, and could double this risk in many wildfire-prone regions by the end of the 21st century. While aerosols have generally dampened the risk of extreme wildfire conditions in the past, their effect is diminished and more localized in future projections. These findings provide key insight into the observed and projected changes in wildfire risks and have significant implications for mitigation and adaptation strategies.

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