DATE2022-05-30 15:54:47
TITLEProjecting Burnt Area under future climate change scenarios in the Mediterranean: developing a robust approach
AUTHORSTim Van Der Schriek (1) ,Anna Karali (1) ,Konstantinos V. Varotsos (1) ,Gianna Kitsara (1) ,Christos Giannakopoulos (1)
  1. 1) National Observatory Of Athens, Athens (Greece)
ABSTRACTFires burn annually over 100,000 ha in the N Mediterranean and, during the 21st century, wildfires will account for an estimated 30% of GHG emissions in the region. One of the root causes of wildfires is inadequate land management practices leading to accumulation of dry biomass, burning of farmland waste and landscape simplification. Fire management policies rely heavily on fire suppression and do not sufficiently address land management issues behind the inception and spread of fires. However, over the past two decades the development of firesmart landscape management and Forest Landscape Restoration (FLR) highlighted the benefits of these integrated landscape management approaches, focused on fire prevention. Nonetheless, in southern European countries wildfire prevention is rarely transposed into existing knowledge management mechanisms and policies. In Southeast Europe, including Montenegro and Greece, inadequate landscape governance mechanisms also hamper a proactive approach to fire prevention. Here we present a robust science-based methodology for estimating the reduction in Burnt Area (BA) under future climate change scenarios in fire-smart, mosaic-like resilient landscapes, located in Greece, Montenegro and southern France. This methodology was developed for the project “MediterRE3 - REstoring REsilience of Mediterranean landscapes to REduce GHG emissions from wildfires” ( This methodology will support Climate Change mitigation and climate-resilient landscape planning policies and strategies, providing quantitative information to the estimation of the Forest Reference Level (FRL) provided for by the “LULUCF (Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry)” EU Regulation 2018/841. The methodology estimates of effectiveness of fire-resilient landscapes in reducing the total BA by forest fires, based on: (i) numerical estimates of the decrease in burnt area in fire-resilient landscapes derived from existing studies, and (ii) publicly available data that show numerical differences in the size of the total BA of adjacent areas with/without fire-smart landscape management. Such estimates are essential to calculate the possible reduction in BA when applying fire-smart management in the target areas, at present and under future climate change scenarios. At the target study areas, fire danger modelling, utilizing the Fire Weather Index (FWI) and gridded observational meteorological data, will establish current fire danger conditions. Subsequently, the FWI will be correlated against the regional BA data to establish linear correlation model per study area. Future fire danger will first be calculated under three future climate change scenarios (RCP 2.6, RCP4.5 and RCP8.5), with business-as-usual management, up to 2070. State-of-the-art regional climate models, at a horizontal resolution of 12km developed within the EURO-CORDEX initiative, will simulate future climate data that drive fire danger (FWI) and BA estimates. Subsequently, numerical correction factors will be applied to the future BA simulations, under different climate scenarios, to derive the potential BA reduction for landscapes under fire-smart management. The methodology outlined in this presentation permits up-scaling of the study results as it will enable stakeholders to formulate regional mitigation plans and help them access new funding instruments.