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The Influence of the North Pacific Jet Stream on Future Fire in California

Influence of Interannual North Pacific Jet Variability on Sierra Nevada Fire Regimes
Principal Investigator
Valerie Trouet

Dates

Start Date
2013-06-30
End Date
2015-06-29
Release Date
2013

Summary

In California, increased wildfire activity has been linked to decreasing snowpack and earlier snowmelt. Not only has this translated into a longer fire season, but reduced snowpack has cascading effects that impact streamflow, water supplies, agricultural productivity, and ecosystems. California receives 80% of its precipitation during the winter, so mountain snowpack plays a critical role in replenishing the state’s water supply. One factor that affects the amount of winter precipitation (and therefore snowpack) in California is the North Pacific Jet (NPJ)—a current of strong, high altitude winds that occur over the northern Pacific Ocean. Winters when the NPJ is located further north than normal are drier than average in California, [...]

Child Items (4)

Contacts

Principal Investigator :
Valerie Trouet
Co-Investigator :
Julio Betancourt
Funding Agency :
Southwest CSC
CMS Group :
Climate Adaptation Science Centers (CASC) Program

Attached Files

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Fire_SierraNationalForest_CA_USFS.jpg
“Wildfire in Sierra National Forest, CA - Credit: USFS”
thumbnail 385.81 KB

Purpose

The position of the North Pacific Jet (NPJ), a high altitude narrow path of strong winds over the North Pacific Ocean, is a key determinant of snowpack variability in California (CA): winters when the NPJ is located more southerly (northerly) than normal are therefore wetter (drier) than average in CA. With ongoing and future climatic change, the NPJ is projected to slow down and exhibit a more north-south oriented trajectory, which could greatly influence CA water resources and ecosystems. In this project, researchers propose to use tree-ring data to reconstruct NPJ variability over the last 400+ years. This reconstruction will allow the team to put current NPJ trends in a historical perspective and to study the occurrence of NPJ periodicity and extremes. Researchers will then use historical fire data (1500-1900 CE) to look at NPJ influence on CA fire regimes and will analyze recent annual area burned data to investigate whether the NPJ-fire relationship persists into the 21st century. The research team anticipates that this research will be relevant as input to seasonal outlooks which incorporate past, present, and future climate and fuels information to anticipate significant fire potential. The outlooks are designed to inform decision makers for proactive wildland fire management.

Project Extension

projectStatusIn Progress

Budget Extension

annualBudgets
year2013
totalFunds68786.11
year2014
totalFunds70493.61
totalFunds139279.72

Additional Information

Identifiers

Type Scheme Key
RegistrationUUID NCCWSC 690ef5ac-52c7-492d-8fa8-fc399ef630fb
StampID NCCWSC SW13-TV1027

Expando Extension

object
agendas
themes
number1
nameStakeholder Information Needs
options
atrue
btrue
number2
nameFiscal Year 13 Project Priorities
options
atrue
btrue
ctrue
number3
nameFiscal Year 14 Project Priorities
options
ctrue
number4
nameSW CSC Research Theme
options
atrue
btrue
number5
nameTraditional Ecological Knowledge
options
nameSouthwest CSC Agenda
descriptionSouthwest CSC Agenda

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