Journal cover Journal topic
Biogeosciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
Journal topic

Journal metrics

IF value: 3.480
IF3.480
IF 5-year value: 4.194
IF 5-year
4.194
CiteScore value: 6.7
CiteScore
6.7
SNIP value: 1.143
SNIP1.143
IPP value: 3.65
IPP3.65
SJR value: 1.761
SJR1.761
Scimago H <br class='widget-line-break'>index value: 118
Scimago H
index
118
h5-index value: 60
h5-index60
Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2019-441
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2019-441
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  25 Nov 2019

25 Nov 2019

Review status
This preprint was under review for the journal BG but the revision was not accepted.

A hydroclimatic model for the distribution of fire on Earth

Matthias M. Boer1, Víctor Resco De Dios2, Elisa Z. Stefaniak1, and Ross A. Bradstock3 Matthias M. Boer et al.
  • 1Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment, Western Sydney University, Richmond, Australia
  • 2Department of Crop and Forest Sciences-AGROTECNIO Center, Universitat de Lleida, E 25198 Lleida, Spain
  • 3Centre for Environmental Risk Management of Bushfires, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, Australia

Abstract. The distribution of fire on Earth has been monitored from space for several decades, yet the geography of global fire regimes has proven difficult to reproduce from interactions of climate, vegetation, terrain and land use by empirical and process-based fire models. Here, we propose a simple, yet robust, model for global fire potential based on fundamental biophysical constraints controlling fire activity in all biomes. In our top-down approach we ignored the dynamics of individual fires and focus on capturing hydroclimatic constraints on the production and (seasonal) desiccation of fuels to predict the potential mean annual fractional burned area, here estimated by the 0.99 percentile of the observed mean annual fractional burned area (F0.99). We show that 80 % of the global variation in F0.99 can be explained from a combination of mean annual precipitation and potential evapotranspiration. The proposed hydroclimatic model reproduced observed fire activity levels equally well across all biomes and provided the first objective underpinning for the dichotomy of global fire regimes in two domains characterised by either fuel production limitations on fire or fuel dryness limitations on fire. A sharp transition between the two climate-fire domains was found to occur at a mean annual aridity index of 1.9 (1.94 ± 0.02). Our model provides a simple but comprehensive basis for predicting fire potential under current and future climates, as well as an overarching framework for estimating effects of human activity via ignition regimes and manipulation of vegetation.

Matthias M. Boer et al.

Interactive discussion

Status: closed
Status: closed
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
Printer-friendly Version - Printer-friendly version Supplement - Supplement

Interactive discussion

Status: closed
Status: closed
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
Printer-friendly Version - Printer-friendly version Supplement - Supplement

Matthias M. Boer et al.

Matthias M. Boer et al.

Viewed

Total article views: 451 (including HTML, PDF, and XML)
HTML PDF XML Total Supplement BibTeX EndNote
282 159 10 451 35 12 13
  • HTML: 282
  • PDF: 159
  • XML: 10
  • Total: 451
  • Supplement: 35
  • BibTeX: 12
  • EndNote: 13
Views and downloads (calculated since 25 Nov 2019)
Cumulative views and downloads (calculated since 25 Nov 2019)

Viewed (geographical distribution)

Total article views: 392 (including HTML, PDF, and XML) Thereof 386 with geography defined and 6 with unknown origin.
Country # Views %
  • 1
1
 
 
 
 

Cited

Saved

No saved metrics found.

Discussed

No discussed metrics found.
Latest update: 30 Sep 2020
Publications Copernicus
Download
Short summary
Existing global fire models struggle to reproduce the geographical distribution of fire from interactions of climate, vegetation, terrain and land use. We present a new model for global fire potential based on fundamental biophysical constraints controlling fire activity in all biomes. Our global model predicts the potential mean annual fractional burned area as a function of hydroclimatic constraints on the production and (seasonal) desiccation of fuels.
Existing global fire models struggle to reproduce the geographical distribution of fire from...
Citation
Altmetrics