[MCN] Fire risk: How to make bad situation worse?

Lance Olsen lance at wildrockies.org
Tue May 17 11:17:23 EDT 2016

"  ...  activities such as aggressive fire 
suppression will amplify disequilibrium 
conditions and will likely result in increased 
fire severity .... The results of our study 
provide insights to the pros and cons of 
resisting or facilitating change in vegetation 
composition and fuel load in the context of a 
changing climate."


Environmental Research Letters, Volume 11, Number 3
Published 23 February 2016 * © 2016 IOP Publishing Ltd

How will climate change affect wildland fire severity in the western US?
Sean A Parks1, Carol Miller1, John T Abatzoglou2, 
Lisa M Holsinger1, Marc-André Parisien3 and 
Solomon Z Dobrowski4

1 Aldo Leopold Wilderness Research Institute, 
Rocky Mountain Research Station, USDA Forest 
Service, 790 East Beckwith Ave., Missoula, MT 
59801, USA

2 Department of Geography, University of Idaho, 
875 Perimeter Dr MS3021, Moscow, ID 83844, USA

3 Northern Forestry Centre, Canadian Forest 
Service, Natural Resources Canada, 5320 122nd 
Street, Edmonton, Alberta T5H 3S5, Canada

4 Department of Forest Management, College of 
Forestry and Conservation, University of Montana, 
32 Campus Drive, Missoula, MT 59812, USA

"Water vapor strongly influences atmospheric 
dynamics and the hydrologic cycle through latent 
heat transport and diabatic heating. Water vapor 
is also the most abundant greenhouse gas. As the 
equilibrium vapor pressure of water vapor 
increases rapidly with temperature, warming (or 
cooling) induced by a climate forcing will be 
amplified through water vapor feedback [e.g., 
Soden et al., 2002]. The strength of this 
feedback is a key determinant of the 
planet'sequilibrium climate sensitivity. 
Assessing and understanding variability and 
change in atmospheric water vapor is hence an 
important element of climate change research."

Mark C. Serreze, Andrew P. Barrett, and Julienne 
Stroeve. Recent changes in tropospheric water 
vapor over the Arctic as assessed from 
radiosondes and atmospheric reanalyses. JOURNAL 
doi:10.1029/2011JD017421, 2012
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