EGU General Assembly 2020
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Iberian Fire Regimes for Future Climate Scenarios using a Climate Ensemble

Tomás Calheiros, Mário Pereira, and João Nunes
Tomás Calheiros et al.
  • FCiências.ID, Lisboa, Portugal (

Iberia Fire Regimes for Future Climate Scenarios using a Climate Ensemble


T. Calheiros(1), M.G. Pereira(2,3), J.P. Nunes(1)

(1) CE3C – Centre for Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Changes, Faculdade de Ciências, Universidade de Lisboa, 1749-016 Lisboa, Portugal

(2)Centro de Investigação e de Tecnologias Agro-Ambientais e Biológicas (CITAB), Universidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Vila Real, Portugal

(3)Instituto Dom Luiz (IDL), Universidade de Lisboa, Lisboa, Portugal




Wildfires are generating higher concern worldwide, especially in the Mediterranean regions. Fire season severity and total annual burnt area strongly depend on weather conditions and climate variability.

The first objective of this work was to analyse Fire Weather Indexes (FWI) in the Iberian Peninsula for the present-day conditions and future climate scenarios, using reanalysis data from ERA-Interim (for 1980-2014) and an ensemble of 11 models from EURO-CORDEX, with high spatial (12 km) and daily resolution. FWI were computed for historical (1976 – 2005) and three future periods (2011-2040, 2041 – 2070 and 2071-2100), using maximum temperature, precipitation, relative humidity and wind speed data simulated for two future scenarios (RCP4.5 and RCP8.5). The second objective was to use the Iberian Pyro-Regions and an analysis of the Number of Extreme Days (NED), using previously published methods, to apply on the future scenarios and assess the intra-annual pattern of NED; and, subsequently, to assess if the pyro-regions will change in a future climate, by taking into account the link between monthly burnt area and extreme days found in previous work.

The results anticipate a progressive growth of the SW pyro-region throughout the NW pyro-region, and a shift of the present-day NW pyro-region to most of the provinces occupying the N pyro-region, with exception of those north of the Cantabrian Mountains, in effect moving the present-day pattern northwards. This is driven by the large increase of the NED in summer months and eventually a decrease in March and April. Projections alto point to FWI values increasing considerably when comparing the historical and the future scenarios, especially in late spring and early autumn. These results anticipate a higher fire weather risk in the future, with a larger and stronger fire season.





Calheiros, T., Pereira, M. G and Nunes, J. P. (2020, in press) ‘Recent evolution of spatial and temporal patterns of burnt areas and fire weather risk in the Iberian Peninsula’, Agricultural and Forest Meteorology.


How to cite: Calheiros, T., Pereira, M., and Nunes, J.: Iberian Fire Regimes for Future Climate Scenarios using a Climate Ensemble, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-11610,, 2020


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