Forest fire expansion under global warming conditions: multivariate estimation, function properties and predictions for 29 countries

Document Type : Research paper

Author

Optimal Solutions in Cooperation with Linnaeus University, Hoppets Grand 6, SE 903 34 Umea, Sweden

10.22034/CAJESTI.2020.05.03

Abstract

This study investigates the average relative burned area, as a function of different conditions, in 29 countries. Detailed international statistics of forest fires, published by FAO and European Commission, are used as empirical data. A multivariate fire area function with empirically very convincing statistical properties is defined, tested, and estimated. A set of hypotheses was created based on three fundamental factors. The hypotheses could not be rejected on statistical grounds, and the estimated parameters obtained the expected signs with very low P-values. The residual analysis supports the selected functional form. Future fire areas are predicted for 29 countries, conditional on three alternative levels of global warming conditions. The estimated fire area function can explain the forest fire areas in different countries via three fundamental factors that are 1) The average area of forest fires divided by the total forest area is increasing the average temperature. Hence, global warming is expected to make future forest fire problems even more severe, 2) The average forest fire area divided by the total forest area is an increasing function of the total forest area, and finally 3) The average area of forest fires divided by the total forest area is a decreasing function of the population's size.

Graphical Abstract

Forest fire expansion under global warming conditions: multivariate estimation, function properties and predictions for 29 countries

Highlights

  • The areas of forest fires are explained as functions of average temperature and other factors. 
  • The relative forest fire area increases with the average temperature and the size of the total forest area. It decreases with the size of the population, a proxy for the national firefighting capacity.
  • Climate dependent fire area predictions are made for 29 countries.

Keywords

Main Subjects


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Volume 1, Issue 5
September and October 2020
  • Receive Date: 17 September 2020
  • Revise Date: 28 December 2020
  • Accept Date: 15 January 2021