1154-Bin Zhou

How Does Climate Change Affect Forest Fire Rate in British Columbia?

Global warming is known to be an important risk of forest fire. Studies have shown an increased risk of fire because of rising temperatures, drier conditions, more lightning from stronger storms, added dry fuel for fires and a longer fire season and "global warming makes forests more susceptible to fire." In this paper, we use modern functional data analysis methods to explore the variations of forest fire rate in British Columbia among 63 consecutive years (1950-2012), and to investigate the historical effect of temperature and precipitation on forest fire rate. Functional principle component analysis shows that forest fire rate has increased since 2004 compared to years before that. Historical functional linear model shows that there exist strong positive and negative concurrent effect of temperature and precipitation, respectively on forest fire rate.

Keywords: Functional data analysis; Data smoothing; Functional principle component analysis; Historical functional linear model