Climate Change and Fire Weather Risk

  • Ana C. Carvalho
  • Anabela Carvalho
  • Ana I. Miranda
  • Carlos Borrego
  • Alfredo Rocha


The climate and the meteorological conditions throughout the year are of extreme importance in the deflagration and propagation of forest fires. Using the registered data from meteorological stations and forecasts, it is possible to establish the denominated meteorological fire risk index. This, mathematically, translates the fire risk that a given region is subject to, taking into consideration only meteorological conditions. The probable climatic changes, related to the emission of greenhouse gases, may come to affect the fire risk of a given region. The approach adopted to evaluate the impact of climate change on the fire weather risk (FWR) over Portugal is based on a numerical downscaling technique (from global to regional scale). The results of a general circulation model, for presentday conditions and for a climate centred in the year 2050, are used as initial and boundary conditions for a mesoscale model of atmospheric flow. This was applied to an area including Continental Portugal, for both considered situations, in terms of global simulation. The information obtained has been used to calculate the FWR with reference to the two simulated situations. Two FWR indexes were applied, the Angström and the Lourenço indexes. Globally, the prognosis is for an increase in the meteorological fire risk in Continental Portugal, for a climate scenario corresponding to the year 2050.


General Circulation Model Forest Fire Risk Index Mesoscale Model Fire Risk 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ana C. Carvalho
    • 1
  • Anabela Carvalho
    • 1
  • Ana I. Miranda
    • 1
  • Carlos Borrego
    • 1
  • Alfredo Rocha
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Environment and PlanningUniversity of AveiroAveiroPortugal
  2. 2.Physics DepartmentUniversity of AveiroAveiroPortugal

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