Attribution of the role of climate change in the forest fires in Sweden 2018

In this study, we analyse the role of climate change in the forest fires that raged through large parts of Sweden in the summer of 2018 from a meteorological perspective. This is done by studying the Canadian Fire Weather Index (FWI) based on sub-daily data, both in reanalysis data sets (ERA-Interim, ERA5, the Japanese 55 year Reanalysis, JRA-55, and Modern-Era Retrospective analysis for Research and Applications version 2, MERRA-2) and three large-ensemble climate models (EC-Earth, weather@home, W@H, and Community Earth System Model, CESM) simulations. The FWI, based on reanalysis, correlates well with the observed burnt area in summer (r = 0.6 to 0.8). We find that the maximum FWI in July 2018 had return times of similar to 24 years (90% CI, confidence interval, > 10 years) for southern and northern Sweden. Furthermore, we find a negative trend of the FWI for southern Sweden over the 1979 to 2017 time period in the reanalyses, yielding a non-significant reduced probability of such an event. However, the short observational record, large uncertainty between the reanalysis products and large natural variability of the FWI give a large confidence interval around this number that easily includes no change, so we cannot draw robust conclusions from reanalysis data.

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Author Krikken, Folmer
Lehner, Flavio
Haustein, Karsten
Drobyshev, Igor
van Oldenborgh, Geert Jan
Publisher UCAR/NCAR - Library
Publication Date 2021-07-19T00:00:00
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Topic Category geoscientificInformation
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Metadata Date 2023-08-18T18:15:43.155114
Metadata Record Identifier edu.ucar.opensky::articles:24556
Metadata Language eng; USA
Suggested Citation Krikken, Folmer, Lehner, Flavio, Haustein, Karsten, Drobyshev, Igor, van Oldenborgh, Geert Jan. (2021). Attribution of the role of climate change in the forest fires in Sweden 2018. UCAR/NCAR - Library. Accessed 19 May 2024.

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