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Universidade de Lisboa (2018)

Linking meteorological fire danger and burnt area in Brazil under present and future climate conditions

Silva, Patrícia Santos

Titre : Linking meteorological fire danger and burnt area in Brazil under present and future climate conditions

Auteur : Silva, Patrícia Santos

Université de soutenance : Universidade de Lisboa

Grade : Mestrado Integrado em Engenharia da Energia e do Ambiente 2018

Résumé partiel
Fire is a key ecological disturbance, contributing to ecosystem structure, diversity and functioning. Fire emissions to the atmosphere amount to approximately 2.2 PgC/yr and fires have significant economic, social and health related impacts. Brazil is one of the most fire-affected areas in the globe and over the last decade the highest peaks in burned area have been observed since records began. Here, we employ a fire danger index tailored for Brazilian biomes, the MFDI, and outputs from a regional climate model, the RCA4 from the Rossby Centre, to assess present and future trends of fire danger and burned area. To that end, the MFDI as calculated by observation-based data was compared with a burned area (BA) dataset calibrated for Brazil (AQM, Área Queimada), with satisfactory results in both intra and inter-annual evaluations. Consequently, simple linear regression models were developed to predict changes in burned area using the MFDI as predictor, which were shown capable of explaining at least 50% of variance for all analysed landcovers. Conspicuous results were found for the Closed Shrublands andWoody Savannas + Open Shrublands and Savannas landcovers (CSWS+OS), which includes cerrado and caatinga biomes, where the burned area model explains 77% of variance. Using RCM results, MFDI based on simulated climate is evaluated for present and future climate cond

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