Providing Regional Climate Services to British Columbia

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PCIC Post-Doctoral Fellow Shares Findings in CMOS Bulletin

PCIC Post-Doctoral Fellow Megan Kirchmeier-Young recently wrote an article featured in the Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society’s Bulletin summarizing recent research that she led on extreme wildfire risk in a region of western Canada. In the article, Dr. Kirchmeier-Young draws a parallel between epidemiology and event attribution in climate science, explaining how the likelihood of a climate extreme event can be affected by anthropogenic emissions much as how the likelihood of developing a given disease can be affected by behavioural and environmental factors. The article then explains the methods that she and her colleagues used, comparing the output of a large ensemble of climate model simulations driven with natural forcings only to a similar ensemble that was run using both natural and anthropogenic forcings, and the choice of metrics and thresholds that they used to indicate extreme events. Dr. Kirchmeier-Young then shares some of her key findings, including that the risk for extreme fire risk events in this region is roughly 1.5 to 6 times as likely in the simulations with anthropogenic forcings. The article concludes with the note that work is ongoing to extend this analysis to British Columbia.

Read the article.
Read the original paper.