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Permanent link (DOI): https://doi.org/10.7939/R3736M868

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Large forest fires in Canada and the relationship to Global Sea Surface Temperatures Open Access

Descriptions

Author or creator
Skinner, W.R.
Shabber, A.
Flannigan, M.D.
Logan, K.
Additional contributors
Subject/Keyword
El-nino
Ocean
Variability
Extended dry spells
Southern-oscillation
Singular-value decomposition
Wildland fire
SST Anomalies
Climate-change
Northern-hemisphere
Type of item
Journal Article (Published)
Language
English
Place
Time
Description
Relationships between variations in peak Canadian forest fire season (JJA) severity and previous winter (DJF) global sea surface temperature (SST) variations are examined for the period 1953 to 1999. Coupled modes of variability between the seasonal severity rating (SSR) index and the previous winter global SSTs are analyzed using singular value decomposition (SVD) analysis. The robustness of the relationship is established by the Monte Carlo technique. The importance of the leading three SVD modes, accounting for approximately 90% of the squared covariance, to Canadian summer forest fire severity is identified. The first mode relates strongly to the global long-term trend, especially evident in the warming of the Southern Hemisphere oceans, and shows significant positive correlation in the forested regions of northwestern, western and central Canada, while southern B. C., the extreme northwest coastal regions of B. C. and Yukon, and the Great Lakes region are identified as having significant negative correlation. The second mode relates to the multidecadal variation of Atlantic SST (AMO) and shows highly significant negative correlation extending from the western NWT and Canadian Prairie Provinces across northern Ontario and Quebec. The third mode is related to Pacific Ocean processes and the interrelationship between El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) and shows strong positive correlation in western Canada and negative correlation in the lower Great Lakes region of southern Ontario and southern Quebec. A 6-month lag relationship between Canadian forest fire variability and large-scale SSTs may provide the basis for developing long-range forecasting schemes for fire severity in Canada.
Date created
2006
DOI
doi:10.7939/R3736M868
License information
Rights
© 2006 American Geophysical Union. This version of this article is open access and can be downloaded and shared. The original author(s) and source must be cited.
Citation for previous publication
Skinner, W.R., Shabbar, A., Flannigan, M.D. and Logan, K. (2006). Large forest fires in Canada and the relationship to Global Sea Surface Temperatures. Journal of Geophysical Research - Atmospheres, 111, D14106, doi:10.1029/2005JD006738.
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File title: Large forest fires in Canada and the relationship to global sea surface temperatures
File author: W. R. Skinner, A. Shabbar, M. D. Flannigan, K. Logan
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