2019–2020 australia fire and its relationship to hydroclimatological and vegetation variabilities

Mohammad Reza Ehsani, Jorge Arevalo, Christoforus Bayu Risanto, Mostafa Javadian, Charles John Devine, Alireza Arabzadeh, Hector L. Venegas-Quiñones, Ambria Paige Dell’oro, Ali Behrangi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

Wildfire is a major concern worldwide and particularly in Australia. The 2019–2020 wildfires in Australia became historically significant as they were widespread and extremely severe. Linking climate and vegetation settings to wildfires can provide insightful information for wildfire prediction, and help better understand wildfires behavior in the future. The goal of this research was to examine the relationship between the recent wildfires, various hydroclimatological variables, and satellite-retrieved vegetation indices. The analyses performed here show the uniqueness of the 2019–2020 wildfires. The near-surface air temperature from December 2019 to February 2020 was about 1C higher than the 20-year mean, which increased the evaporative demand. The lack of precipitation before the wildfires, due to an enhanced high-pressure system over southeast Australia, prevented the soil from having enough moisture to supply the demand, and set the stage for a large amount of dry fuel that highly favored the spread of the fires.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number3067
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalWater (Switzerland)
Volume12
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2020

Keywords

  • Australia wildfires
  • Climate change
  • Drought
  • Ecology
  • Extreme events
  • Hydroclimatology
  • Remote sensing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Biochemistry
  • Aquatic Science
  • Water Science and Technology

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