Forest vulnerability to fire in the northern Rocky Mountains under climate change

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Vicenza, Sarah Dalla
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Arts and Science
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Dept. of Geography
Forest fires are an increasing concern under climate change. Substantially increased fire vulnerability could become a reality for many areas, including the Rocky Mountains. Forest fire hazard was examined in the upper North Saskatchewan and St. Mary watersheds for the period of 1960 to 2100. Ensemble climate scenarios were chosen to represent a wide range of possible future climates. The GENGRID meteorological model and the Canadian Forest Fire Weather index System were combined to assess possible changes in forest fire hazard in the Rocky Mountains. A wind model was developed to estimate daily wind speed variation with elevation. It was found that under most climate scenarios, fire hazard is predicted to increase. If future temperatures are warm, as expected, it could offset future precipitation increases, resulting in greater severity of fire weather and an in increase the number of days per year with high fire hazard.
xiii, 130 leaves ; 29 cm
Forest fires -- Rocky Mountains , Forests and forestry -- Rocky Mountains , Climatic changes -- Rocky Mountains , Rocky Mountains -- Climate , Dissertations, Academic