Projected climate change impact on fire risk and heavy snow loads in the Finnish forests

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dc.contributor.author Lehtonen, Ilari
dc.date.accessioned 2017-08-21T11:12:01Z
dc.date.available 2017-08-21T11:12:01Z
dc.date.issued 2017-08
dc.identifier.isbn 978-952-336-023-5
dc.identifier.issn 0782-6117
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10138/214066
dc.description.abstract The aim of this work was to study the climate change impact on two specific abiotic risks affecting forests in Finland: fires and heavy snow loads. Approximately 1000 forest fires occur annually in Finland, but thanks to effective fire suppression, the average size of fires is only about 0.5 ha. Occasionally, heavy snow loading causes forest damage, which reduces stand quality in boreal forests experiencing cold winters. In Finnish forests, snow damage occurs most commonly in the eastern and northern parts of the country. The basic tools used in this work to evaluate the climate change impact were climate models. In addition, observational weather data and fire statistics were used. In evaluating the forest fire risk, the Canadian Fire Weather Index (FWI) system was used. Snow load amounts were estimated mainly by applying a snow load model developed at the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI). The results indicate that forest fire risk will most likely increase in the future due to increasing temperature and enhanced evaporation. However, there is large uncertainty regarding the rate of change, which originates from the differences between climate model responses to the same radiative forcing. Moreover, an increase in forest fire risk will at the same time increase the risk of onflagrations. Crown snow loads were projected to become heavier in northern Finland and in the regions of Kainuu and North Karelia next to the Russian border. In southern and western Finland the risk of snow damage is expected to decrease. The largest decrease in the risk is projected to occur in coastal areas. In the areas expected to experience increased risk of snow damage, conditions favouring oth heavy wet snow loading and rime accretion were predicted to become more common. The results of this work can be utilized when considering climatically-driven risks in forest management. fi
dc.language.iso en fi
dc.publisher Finnish Meteorological Institute fi
dc.relation.ispartofseries Finnish Meteorological Institute Contributions 133 fi
dc.subject climate change fi
dc.subject forest damage fi
dc.subject forest fires fi
dc.subject FWI index fi
dc.subject snow loads fi
dc.subject snow damage fi
dc.subject boreal forests fi
dc.subject Finland fi
dc.title Projected climate change impact on fire risk and heavy snow loads in the Finnish forests fi
dc.type Thesis fi

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