The Bay Area National Public Radio affiliate KQED posted "reporter's notes" on the Quest portion of its Web site yesterday featuring comments from UC Berkeley fire ecology specialist Max Moritz about recently published research that predicts changes in world wildfire patterns due to climate change. Quest is a KQED multimedia series exploring Northern California science, environment and nature.
In the written notes, reporter Craig Miller explained that Moritz and a team of researchers found that climate change won't cause a rise in wildfire everywhere in the world.
In audio interview excerpts, Moritz himself says that different climatic variables -- such as precipitation patterns and temperatures -- around the world mean climate change will have different effects on wildfire patterns. Most places, including California, will see increases in wildfire activity; other areas, like the Pacific Northwest, may see fewer, less intense fires.
"(The fact) that just in the next couple of decades we’re going to see very extensive and rapid shifts in fire activity, I think that’s a bit of a surprise," Moritz said.