By 2030-2040 climate change will prolong wildfire seasons, adding up to three months of days with high wildfire potential in Western Australia
Four Twenty Seven has released a report analysing future changes to wildfire potential globally. Areas ranging from California and Australia to the Amazon, Spain and the Arctic have experienced unprecedented loss of life and damage from wildfires in the past several years.
Climate change is already making wildfires more severe and the new research finds that it will lead to longer wildfire seasons in areas already prone to wildfires, and create hotter and drier conditions that will expose entirely new areas. Understanding which areas are exposed to changing wildfire conditions will help leaders in government, finance and public health to mitigate catastrophic loss.
Key Findings of the report, Climate Change and Wildfires: Projecting Future Wildfire Potential, include:
- In areas already exposed to wildfires, by 2030-2040 climate change will prolong wildfire seasons, adding up to three months of days with high wildfire potential in Western Australia, over two months in regions of northern California and a month in European countries including Spain, Portugal and Greece.
- New wildfire risks will emerge in historically wet and cool regions, such as Siberia, which is projected to have 20 more days of high wildfire potential in 2030-2040.
- Globally, western portions of the Amazon and Southeast Asia will experience the largest relative increases in wildfire severity, further threatening crucial biodiversity hotspots and carbon sinks.
- Confronting this new risk will take unprecedented resources and new approaches in regions not familiar with wildfires and worsening wildfire seasons will continue to threaten already limited resources in currently exposed areas.
“As the climate changes, we are witnessing the effects of more frequent and severe wildfires. We developed the model to show where these changes will be the greatest in the coming decades, and ultimately, provide communities and markets with a robust, forward-looking dataset to help plan ahead,” says Nik Steinberg, Twenty Seven’s managing director of Research.