Search for European Projects

Palaeofire Danger Rating Maps and Earth's Last Major Global Warming Event (Project PyroMap) (PyroMap)
Start date: Oct 1, 2012, End date: Sep 30, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Project PyroMap aims to understand the impact that Earth’s last major globally warm period had on our planet’s flammability. The Mid Pliocene ~3.6-2.6 million years ago, experienced global mean annual temperatures 3oC higher than today. Such estimates are remarkably similar to those predicted by the IPPC 2007 for 100 years in our future making the Mid Pliocene an excellent analogue for our planet’s future.Models of future climate change predictions suggest that the annual number of forest fires in N. America for example, will increase by 44%, implying that as our world warms we will be faced with an increased fire threat. Such estimates are based on outputs from numerical models that consider variations in lightning strike and climate-weather patterns due to increased atmospheric CO2. However, such an approach ignores variations in vegetation that supplies fuel for fires. PyroMap will assess whether past climate-induced vegetation changes influenced flammability.PyroMap will map vegetation changes across the Mid Pliocene in order to create the first palaeofire danger rating maps of the Earth. Fire danger ratings today are used to convey fire threat. These use mathematical models (fire danger rating systems) that link fuel type, fuel loads and climate to estimate ignition potential, spread rate and energy release from fires. PyroMap will create a modified danger rating system enabling palaeo-data to be used to estimate and map fire danger during the Mid Pliocene. PyroMap will: Provide sorely needed information on the coupling of fires and global warming. Produce the first ever palaeofire danger rating maps and the first global dataset on the influence of climate-induced variations in fuel on palaeofire activity. Produce data that will feed into the European Climate Change Programme II: Impacts and Adaptation, the European Commission’s April 2009 policy paper on “Adapting to Climate Change” and target the research goals of FP7’s “Environment” category.
Up2Europe Ads