Forest fires under climate, social and economic changes in Europe, the Mediterranean and other fire-affected areas of the world

Fire regimes result from interactions between climate, land-use and land-cover (LULC), and socioeconomic factors, among other. These changed during the last decades, particularly around the Mediterranean. Our understanding of how they affected fire regime in the past is limited. During this century temperatures, drought and heat waves will very likely increase, and rainfall decrease. These and further socioeconomic change will affect LULC. Additional areas will be abandoned due to being unsuitable for agriculture or other uses. Fire danger and fire hazard are very likely to increase, affecting fire regimes. FUME will learn from the past to understand future impacts. Mod. 1 we will study how LULC and socioeconomics changed and how climate and weather affected fire in dynamically changing landscapes. Fires will be mapped throughout Europe to determine hazard burning functions for LULC types. Since climate has changed, an attempt to attribute (sensu IPCC) fire regime change to climate, differentiating it from socioeconomic change, will be made. Mod. 2 will produce scenarios of change (climate, including extremes, land-use land-cover, socioeconomics, vegetation) for various emissions pathways and three time-slices during this century. With these and results from Mod.1, models and field experiments projected impacts on fire-regime and vegetation vulnerabilities will be calculated, including climate extremes (drought, heat-waves). Mod. 3 will investigate adaptation options in fire- and land-management, including restoration. Fire prevention and fire fighting protocols will be tested/developed under the new conditions to mitigating fire risks. A company managing fire will be a key player. Costs and policy impacts of changes in fire will be studied. Research will focus on old and new fire areas, the rural interface, whole Europe and the Mediterranean, including all Mediterranean countries of the world. Users will be involved in training and other activities.

The ultimate goal of FUME will be to provide tools for better quantification of future impacts on fire regime, and on landscapes as a result of climate and social en economic changes. Based on them we will assess the capacity to cope with fire under global change and to identify future vulnerabilities of ecosystems and societies.

Module 2 (Projections of future fire risk , fire regime and associated impacts due climate and other social and economic changes) WP 2.2 Impacts on fire risk, fire regime and on landscapes under climate and socioeconomic changes - lead WP 2.1, 2.3 - contributing Module 1 (Recent trends in landscape change and fire occurrence: disentangling the historical role of climate and other factors on fire) WP 1.2, 1.3 - contributing Module 4 (Integration, knowledge transfer and management) WP 4.4, 4.5 - contributing


Jan 01, 2010 until Dec 31, 2013

Funding Agency

EU - European Union

Funding Call

ENV.2009. Forest fires under climate, social and economic changes in Europe


Kirsten Thonicke

Project Website