In April 2016 Manchester eScholar was replaced by the University of Manchester’s new Research Information Management System, Pure. In the autumn the University’s research outputs will be available to search and browse via a new Research Portal. Until then the University’s full publication record can be accessed via a temporary portal and the old eScholar content is available to search and browse via this archive.

Forecasting the Outbreak of Moorland Wild Fires in the English Peak District

Albertson, Kevin, Aylen, J., Cavan, Gina, McMorrow, J

Journal of Environmental Management. 2009;90(8):2642-2651.

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Warmer, drier summers brought by climate change increase the potential risk of wildfires on the moorland of the Peak District of northern England. Fires are costly to fight, damage the ecosystem, harm water catchments, cause erosion scars and disrupt transport. Fires release carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. Accurate forecasts of the timing of fires helps deployment of fire fighting resources. A probit model is used to assess the chance of fires at different times of the year, days of the week and under various weather conditions. Current and past rainfall damp fire risk. The likelihood of fire increases with maximum temperature. Dry spells or recent fire activity also signal extra fire hazard. Certain days are fire prone due to visitors and some months of the year are more risky reflecting the changing flammability of moorland vegetation. The model back-predicts earlier fires during a hot dry summer accurately. The impact of climate change on fire incidence is not straightforward. Risks may be reduced if wetter winters and earlier onset of spring add to plant moisture content. Yet a warm springs increases biomass and potential fuel load in summer. Climate change may cause the timing of moorland wildfires to shift from a damper and more verdant spring to drought-stressed summer

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Manchester eScholar ID:
27th August, 2009, 07:28:45
Last modified by:
Aylen, Jonathan
Last modified:
26th October, 2015, 12:25:11

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