Rains dampen forest fires in Kalimantan and Sumatra, new fires emerge in Papua


 
08 August 2017

published by http://www.straitstimes.com


Indonesia - JAKARTA - Rainfall has helped with firefighting efforts in the forests and plantations of Kalimantan and Sumatra, but new hotspots have emerged in Papua, in the eastern part of Indonesia.

The number of hotspots picked up by satellites on Monday (July 7) afternoon, was 158 across Indonesia, with Papua having the highest number, according to Indonesia's disaster management agency (BNPB).

"The dry season will last until October and will peak in September. The potential for drought and forest and plantation fires will increase," said BNPB's spokesman Dr Sutopo Purwo Nugroho in a press statement.

The most affected areas are Papua, with 93 hotspots, East Java with 17 and West Nusa Tenggara 11 hotspots. Most of the fires in Papua were in the Merauke regency.

Forest and plantation fires have plagued Sumatera and Kalimantan for decades, especially in the provinces of Riau, Jambi, South Sumatera, West Kalimantan, South Kalimantan and Central Kalimantan. Similar blazes have appeared in Papua since 2015, according to the BNPB statement.

"Fires have emerged in Mearuke and Mappi regencies in Papua since 2015 mainly due to massive land clearings to make way for plantations there," Dr Sutopo said. "Based on satellite monitoring, the converting of forest land into plantation has taken place quite swiftly in Papua."

Most of the hot spots were located in hard-to-reach corners, and a lack of equipment and personnel to help with fire-fighting efforts have complicated the problem, Dr Sutopo explained.

He added that an estimated 354,191 hectares of forest and plantation in Papua have been burnt between Jan 1, 2015 and Oct 20, 2015, an area about five times the size of Singapore.

An international team of climate researchers from the US, South Korea and the UK has developed a new wildfire and drought prediction model for southwestern North America. Extending far beyond the current seasonal forecast, this study published in the journal Scientific Reports could benefit the economies with a variety of applications in agriculture, water management and forestry.

Over the past 15 years, California and neighboring regions have experienced heightened conditions and an increase in numbers with considerable impacts on human livelihoods, agriculture, and terrestrial ecosystems. This new research shows that in addition to a discernible contribution from natural forcings and human-induced global warming, the large-scale difference between Atlantic and Pacific ocean temperatures plays a fundamental role in causing droughts, and enhancing wildfire risks.

"Our results document that a combination of processes is at work. Through an ensemble modeling approach, we were able to show that without anthropogenic effects, the droughts in the southwestern United States would have been less severe," says co-author Axel Timmermann, Director of the newly founded IBS Center for Climate Physics, within the Institute for Basics Science (IBS), and Distinguished Professor at Pusan National University in South Korea. "By prescribing the effects of man-made climate change and observed global ocean temperatures, our model can reproduce the observed shifts in weather patterns and wildfire occurrences."



Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2017-07-atlanticpacific-ocean-temperature-difference-fuels.html#jCp
An international team of climate researchers from the US, South Korea and the UK has developed a new wildfire and drought prediction model for southwestern North America. Extending far beyond the current seasonal forecast, this study published in the journal Scientific Reports could benefit the economies with a variety of applications in agriculture, water management and forestry.
 

Over the past 15 years, California and neighboring regions have experienced heightened conditions and an increase in numbers with considerable impacts on human livelihoods, agriculture, and terrestrial ecosystems. This new research shows that in addition to a discernible contribution from natural forcings and human-induced global warming, the large-scale difference between Atlantic and Pacific ocean temperatures plays a fundamental role in causing droughts, and enhancing wildfire risks.

"Our results document that a combination of processes is at work. Through an ensemble modeling approach, we were able to show that without anthropogenic effects, the droughts in the southwestern United States would have been less severe," says co-author Axel Timmermann, Director of the newly founded IBS Center for Climate Physics, within the Institute for Basics Science (IBS), and Distinguished Professor at Pusan National University in South Korea. "By prescribing the effects of man-made climate change and observed global ocean temperatures, our model can reproduce the observed shifts in weather patterns and wildfire occurrences."



Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2017-07-atlanticpacific-ocean-temperature-difference-fuels.html#jCp