Impact of climate change on quantity and area of forest fires in the northern part of the Black Sea Region of Ukraine
The aim of this study consists in assessment of impact of change of thermal regime, air moisture and weather phenomena on quantity and area of forest fires in the northern part of the Black Sea Region of Ukraine, their possible changes and consequences by the middle of XXI century with regard to modern climatic period for SRESA1B scenario and setting of some proportion of uncertainty of these changes.
The study of regional peculiarities of climate change was performed on the basis of daily meteorological observations over the period of 1961-2013 in the context of Kherson region. To assess impact of weather conditions on fire safety data on number of forest fires and their area in the region over 1996-2013 (about 4 000 cases of fire) were used. The study was carried out using regression and correlation analysis. Calculation projections of climate characteristics’ change resulting in forest fires was performed for the period of 2021-2050 with relation to modern climatic period (1981-2010) using the data of regional climate model REMO with resolution of 25 km initiated by ECHAM5 global model calculation.
It was found that number and area of forest fires in the northern part of the Black Sea Region of Ukraine is largely dependent on thermal regime, moisture and wind regime. Influence of temperature appears to be decisive and affects area of fires rather than their number. For example, increase of annual / summer average air temperature by 1°C can lead to increase of average area of fire almost by 110% and 90% respectively and increase of number of days with atmospheric drought and heat (maximum temperature above 30°C) by 10 days can cause increase of average area of fires by 130% and 80%. At the same time air temperature in September and October has a significant impact on number of fires: increase of monthly average air temperature by 1°C can lead to increase of number of fires by 20%.
Climate change analysis conducted in Kherson oblast resulted in finding that over the recent decades the region faced a significant change of thermal regime, moisture and wind regime, recurrence of weather phenomena affecting number and area of forest fires. These changes led to increase of fire risks in the region. Evaluation of possible changes of these characteristics by the middle of the XXI century showed that the under SRES A1B scenario the region might expect further increase of temperature throughout the year, growth of number of hot days and duration of sultry period. Since these processes are accompanied by increase of duration of dry period these changes will significantly affect fire risk increase – number of forest fires and their area by the middle of the XXI century in Kherson region may significantly grow.
Obtained results can be used to develop plans for adaptation to climate change.
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