Modeling wildfire

Contact: Leiwen Jiang

A global fire model in the Community Land Model (CLM) has been developed to quantify and understand the interactions among fire, climate, vegetation, human activities, and the carbon cycle. The fire model, when coupled to the Community Earth System Model (CESM), also represents the interaction between fire and atmosphere chemistry/aerosols.

The fire scheme includes parameterizations for human ignitions, fire suppression, and agricultural fires by reproducing observed statistical relationships between these quantities and socioeconomic factors (population density and GDP). Deforestation and degradation fires in tropical closed forests are tied to anthropogenic deforestation rates.

Additional ongoing wildfire research looks at the relationship between population and future global fire risk. This work considers the impacts of demographic trends by adopting the population and urbanization projections from the new socio-economic scenario framework for climate change research—the shared socio-economic pathways (SSPs). A recently published study summarizing this research found that future population growth shapes wildfire risk more than climate change.