The Enso-fire dynamic in insular Southeast Asia, Climatic Change

Publication Date : 2006-03-08
Author : Fuller, D. O.Murphy, K.
Countries :
Disaster Management Theme :
Disaster Type : Drought
Document Type : Research Paper
Languange : en
Link :

Abstact :

We examined the spatiotemporal patterns of fire in insular Southeast Asia from July 1996 to December 2001 using a set of consistent, nighttime fire observations provided by the Along Track Scanning Radiometer (ATSR) sensor. Monthly ATSR fire counts were analyzed relative to georeferenced climatic and land-cover data from a variety of sources. We found that fires were strongly correlated with Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) (r = -0.75) and Niño 3.4 index (r = 0.72) in forested land-cover types within the equatorial belt (5.5°S–5.5°N). Cross-correlation analysis revealed that detrended SOI was modestly correlated (r = 0.42) with detrended monthly fire count with a positive lag of four months. However, our analysis also revealed that fire counts reached their maximum 6 months before the absolute maximum of SOI. Annual sums of SOI (?SOI) and fire counts revealed linearity for ?SOI= 0. Overall, the results suggest that ENSO indices may have limited predictive utility at a monthly time scale, but that temporal aggregation and additional fire observations may enhance our capacity to forecast fires in different cover types based on ENSO data.