Navigation Links
New Study Links Western Wildfires to Atlantic Ocean Surface Temperatures

Western U.S. wildfires are likely to increase in the coming decades, according to a new tree-ring study// led by the University of Comahue in Argentina and involving the University of Colorado at Boulder that links episodic fire outbreaks in the past five centuries with periods of warming sea surface temperatures in the North Atlantic.

States like Washington, Oregon, California, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and South Dakota all had an increased prevalence of wildfires in recent centuries when a phenomenon known as the Atlantic Multi-Decadal Oscillation -- similar but longer in duration than the better known El Nino-Southern Oscillation -- periodically shifted from a cool to a warm mode that lasted roughly 60 years each time, said the study authors.

Warmer waters in the North Atlantic correspond with episodes of drought and subsequent fires in the West as shown by fire scars in annual tree rings studied by the researchers, said Thomas Kitzberger of the University of Comahue, who led the study with researchers from CU-Boulder, the University of Arizona, the U.S. Forest Service and Rocky Mountain Tree-Ring Research Inc., a private lab in Fort Collins, Colo.

Kitzberger, who received his doctorate from CU-Boulder in 1994 under co-author and CU-Boulder geography Professor Thomas Veblen, said the North Atlantic warming trend, coupled with warming temperatures and the earlier onset of spring in the West, poses "an increased hazard for wildfires that may continue for decades." The paper was published the week of Dec. 25 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

While previous tree-ring studies have linked fires in different regions of western North America to drought associated with the warm El Ni?o phase or cool La Ni?a phase of the Southern El-Ni?o Southern Oscillation phenomenon in the Pacific, the new study is the first to correlate the Atlantic Multi-Decadal Oscillation with increased North American fires on such a large scale, said the authors. The team analyzed nearly 34,000 individual fire scar dates from tree rings, primarily ponderosa pine and Douglas fir, at 241 sites -- the largest record of tree rings linked to past wildfires ever assembled.

"This trend of warmer sea-surface temperatures in the North Atlantic appears to be correlated with dry spells we have seen in the West since the late 1990s," said Veblen. "If the trend continues for the next 60 years or so as it has in the past, the degree of fire occurrence in the West could be unprecedented compared to anything in recent memory."

Although the atmospheric mechanisms relating drought in North America to sea-surface temperatures in the North Atlantic are subject to debate among climatologists, there is a strong statistical association of drought and fire in western North America when the Atlantic sea surface warms, said Veblen. The sea-surface temperature of both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans combine to influence the climate of much of the world through a complex web of atmospheric interconnections, he said.

"The key issue is that the Atlantic Multi-Decadal Oscillation persists on time scales of 60 to 80 years, compared to just one year or a few years for El Ni?o," he said.

Veblen said warmer temperatures in the West since the 1990s have exacerbated outbreaks of spruce and pine beetle populations, which have decimated millions of acres of coniferous forests in the West. "There is good evidence that warming trends like the one we are now seeing is very favorable for the population growth of these beetles."

Fire suppression activities during the 20th century have increased fuels and fire hazard in some forest types, although forest thinning may help reduce the impact of some severe fires by eliminating potential fuel sources, Veblen said. But the effectiveness of such practices pale in comparison to the potential of climatic factors.

"The driving factor influencing wildfires is overwhelmingly climate variation, which is why studies like these are crucial," he said.

"This study underscores the value of building large networks of high-resolution fire history data to better understand how climate may affect fire regimes over large areas of the globe," said Kitzberger. The team used data from the International Multiproxy Paleofire Database that is maintained by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Source-Eurekalert
'"/>




Related medicine news :

1. Tomato Sauce reduces Cancer Risk- Study
2. Study on obesity and heart failure
3. National Lung Study in the process
4. Study casts doubt on keyboard ills
5. Study reveals how stress can make you sick
6. Study reveals how stress can make you sick
7. Study supports vegetable diet
8. Study to look at early surgery to treat epilepsy
9. Its Never Too Late to Stop Smoking,Study Finds
10. New Technique to Study Infants Brain.
11. Groundbreaking Study Gives Hope For Patients With Kidney Cancer
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:9/25/2017)... TX (PRWEB) , ... September 25, 2017 , ... ... will further expand its Portable, Continuous, Miniature, and Modular (PCMM) collaboration with Pfizer ... existing POD-based Oral Solid Dosage line. The new PODs will provide tablet coating ...
(Date:9/25/2017)... ... 2017 , ... PITTSBURGH...An inventor, from Richmond Hill, Ga., thought there needed to ... facilities, so he invented the COMPLETE PATIENT CHART. , The COMPLETE PATIENT CHART provides ... offers an improved alternative to paper charts and clipboards. As a result, it increases ...
(Date:9/25/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... September 25, 2017 , ... ... to improve quality and efficiency. The principle of First-Defect-Stop for laboratory weighing ... results before they have the chance to have negative consequences on downstream processes. ...
(Date:9/25/2017)... Columbus, OH (PRWEB) , ... September 25, 2017 , ... ... will take place October 25-26, 2017 in Los Angeles, CA. The symposium will feature ... exchange information dealing with today's mass calibration technologies and help with planning for the ...
(Date:9/25/2017)... ... September 25, 2017 , ... The Asset Tracking and Temperature monitoring ... as simple as scanning the bar code of the product and lot ID then ... internet cloud where violations are automatically generated and exception alerts sent out to designated ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:9/23/2017)... Sept. 22, 2017 Janssen Biotech, Inc. (Janssen) ... letter from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ... sirukumab for the treatment of moderately to severely active ... clinical data are needed to further evaluate the safety ... active RA. ...
(Date:9/22/2017)... DIEGO , Sept. 22, 2017 AVACEN ... medical device is now successfully helping those with the ... Fibromyalgia diagnosed Amanda in Essex, ... dressed and washing my hair, experiencing no sleep at ... in painful spasm… I cannot recommend [the AVACEN 100] ...
(Date:9/19/2017)... 2017   ZirMed Inc ., a recognized leader in ... it has been ranked #1 by its users for the ... 2017 User Survey. ZirMed was recognized as the top-ranked end-to-end ... medical centers over 200 beds and holds one of the ... survey history. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: