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Fires and their correlation with meteorological factors on a global scale

Gkagkaoudaki Athina-Zafeiria

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Year 2022
Type of Item Diploma Work
Bibliographic Citation Athina-Zafeiria Gkagkaoudaki, "Fires and their correlation with meteorological factors on a global scale", Diploma Work, School of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, Technical University of Crete, Chania, Greece, 2022
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Fires are an integral part of nature, playing a crucial role in shaping ecosystems, but when this phenomenon gets out of control, the consequences can be devastating for the natural environment, human health and economy. Meteorological conditions are recognized as key factors determining the activity and spread of fires. Therefore, the need was identified in order to develop a fire weather index that is solely dependent on weather conditions. One of the most widely used weather indexes, is the Canadian Fire Weather Index (FWI).This study aims to better understand the effect of climate conditions on wildfires. Considering that, the correlation between Burned Area (BA) and observation- based FWI was investigated on a global scale. Subsequently, the correlation between BA and the individual meteorological variables from which FWI is estimated, namely, relative humidity, precipitation, wind speed and temperature, was assessed. Finally, the relationship between the BA and two of the most important meteorological patterns affecting the global climate, the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) and the Arctic Oscillation (AO), was investigated. This was done by correlating the BA with the climate indicators that account for these phenomena.The results reveal that the FWI correlates well with BA in most regions of the world, with stronger correlations in tropical and subtropical regions. From the analysis of the correlation between individual climate variables and BA by removing the following attributes of seasonality, temperature and humidity, appear to be the factors that influence the most the burned area. Regarding the results obtained from the correlations between BA and the NAO and AO indicators show that there is no strong relationship between them.

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