Fire-climate interaction in forests of the American Pacific coast

Valerie Trouet, Alan H. Taylor, Andrew Mark Carleton, Carl N. Skinner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

53 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We investigate relationships between climate and wildfire activity between 1929 and 2004 in Pacific coast forests of the United States. Self-Organizing Mapping (SOM) of annual area burned in National Forests (NF) in California, Oregon, and Washington identifies three contiguous NF groups and a fourth group of NF traversed by major highways. Large fire years in all groups are dry compared to small fire years. A sub-hemispheric circulation pattern of a strong trough over the North Pacific and a ridge over the West Coast is characteristic of large fire years in all groups. This pattern resembles the Pacific North American (PNA) teleconnection and positive phase of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO). A reverse PNA and negative PDO phase characterizes small fire years. Despite the effect of fire suppression management between 1929 and 2004, forest area burned is linked to climatic variations related to large-scale atmospheric circulation patterns.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL18704
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume33
Issue number18
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 28 2006

Fingerprint

coasts
climate
coast
Pacific Decadal Oscillation
interactions
atmospheric circulation
oscillations
fire management
organizing
teleconnection
troughs
wildfire
ridges
trough
retarding
road

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

Cite this

@article{fd3df6227cf14940b12115c8032e76d9,
title = "Fire-climate interaction in forests of the American Pacific coast",
abstract = "We investigate relationships between climate and wildfire activity between 1929 and 2004 in Pacific coast forests of the United States. Self-Organizing Mapping (SOM) of annual area burned in National Forests (NF) in California, Oregon, and Washington identifies three contiguous NF groups and a fourth group of NF traversed by major highways. Large fire years in all groups are dry compared to small fire years. A sub-hemispheric circulation pattern of a strong trough over the North Pacific and a ridge over the West Coast is characteristic of large fire years in all groups. This pattern resembles the Pacific North American (PNA) teleconnection and positive phase of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO). A reverse PNA and negative PDO phase characterizes small fire years. Despite the effect of fire suppression management between 1929 and 2004, forest area burned is linked to climatic variations related to large-scale atmospheric circulation patterns.",
author = "Valerie Trouet and Taylor, {Alan H.} and Carleton, {Andrew Mark} and Skinner, {Carl N.}",
year = "2006",
month = "9",
day = "28",
doi = "10.1029/2006GL027502",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "33",
journal = "Geophysical Research Letters",
issn = "0094-8276",
publisher = "American Geophysical Union",
number = "18",

}

Fire-climate interaction in forests of the American Pacific coast. / Trouet, Valerie; Taylor, Alan H.; Carleton, Andrew Mark; Skinner, Carl N.

In: Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 33, No. 18, L18704, 28.09.2006.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Fire-climate interaction in forests of the American Pacific coast

AU - Trouet, Valerie

AU - Taylor, Alan H.

AU - Carleton, Andrew Mark

AU - Skinner, Carl N.

PY - 2006/9/28

Y1 - 2006/9/28

N2 - We investigate relationships between climate and wildfire activity between 1929 and 2004 in Pacific coast forests of the United States. Self-Organizing Mapping (SOM) of annual area burned in National Forests (NF) in California, Oregon, and Washington identifies three contiguous NF groups and a fourth group of NF traversed by major highways. Large fire years in all groups are dry compared to small fire years. A sub-hemispheric circulation pattern of a strong trough over the North Pacific and a ridge over the West Coast is characteristic of large fire years in all groups. This pattern resembles the Pacific North American (PNA) teleconnection and positive phase of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO). A reverse PNA and negative PDO phase characterizes small fire years. Despite the effect of fire suppression management between 1929 and 2004, forest area burned is linked to climatic variations related to large-scale atmospheric circulation patterns.

AB - We investigate relationships between climate and wildfire activity between 1929 and 2004 in Pacific coast forests of the United States. Self-Organizing Mapping (SOM) of annual area burned in National Forests (NF) in California, Oregon, and Washington identifies three contiguous NF groups and a fourth group of NF traversed by major highways. Large fire years in all groups are dry compared to small fire years. A sub-hemispheric circulation pattern of a strong trough over the North Pacific and a ridge over the West Coast is characteristic of large fire years in all groups. This pattern resembles the Pacific North American (PNA) teleconnection and positive phase of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO). A reverse PNA and negative PDO phase characterizes small fire years. Despite the effect of fire suppression management between 1929 and 2004, forest area burned is linked to climatic variations related to large-scale atmospheric circulation patterns.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=35548943153&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=35548943153&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1029/2006GL027502

DO - 10.1029/2006GL027502

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:35548943153

VL - 33

JO - Geophysical Research Letters

JF - Geophysical Research Letters

SN - 0094-8276

IS - 18

M1 - L18704

ER -