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Uncertainty quantification and propagation for projections of extremes in monthly area burned under climate change: A case study in the coastal plain of Georgia, USA

December 1, 2016

Human‐caused climate change is predicted to affect the frequency of hazard‐linked extremes. Unusually large wildfires are a type of extreme event that is constrained by climate and can be a hazard to society but also an important ecological disturbance. This chapter focuses on changes in the frequency of extreme monthly area burned by wildfires for the end of the 21st century for a wildfire‐prone region in the southeast United States. Predicting changes in area burned is complicated by the large and varied uncertainties in how the climate will change and in the models used to predict those changes. The chapter characterizes and quantifies multiple sources of uncertainty and propagate the expanded prediction intervals of future area burned. It illustrates that while accounting for multiple sources of uncertainty in global change science problems is a difficult task, it will be necessary in order to properly assess the risk of increased exposure to these society‐relevant events.