Welcome! Thank you for joining our conference, Understanding and Managing Changing Fire Risk in the Amazon.
Over the last several years, a number of advances have occurred in our understanding of climate controls on floods and droughts within the Amazon. In parallel, experimental manipulations have provided new insight about the effects of repeated fire use on ecosystem processes and carbon stocks. Remote sensing observations have enabled the development of new algorithms to track understory fires and their sensitivity to variations in fire weather. Satellite fire observations also indicate that in some regions fires and deforestation have become uncoupled. Early warning systems have been developed to predict changes short-term forecasts of fire weather as well as inter-seasonal assessments of fire risk. Integrated modeling approaches have yielded new information about the sensitivity of future fire regimes to development scenarios and climate change. From the IPCC 5thAssessment, a new set of climate model simulations from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 5 (CMIP5) have become available for analysis of long-term changes in climate variability and drought. Many of these simulations have higher spatial resolution and improved representation of biosphere-atmosphere processes.
These science breakthroughs, in combination with the increasing length of satellite time series and the improved Earth system model simulations, provide a new opportunity to synthesize our understanding of contemporary and future changes in fire risk as well as ecosystem impacts.
Some of these advances also may enable the development of new approaches for drought and fire management. We anticipate two workshop outcomes: 1) A synthesis paper on changes in fire risk and ecosystem impacts from climate and land cover changes on multiple time-scales, and 2) An exploration of how different policies, early warning systems, and fire management strategies may be combined to reduce ecosystem impacts and damages.
Jim Randerson, TBD