Businesses across the US – as well as much of Europe – will have to build wildfire protection measures into their risk management plans in coming years, with the disastrous infernos set to become more and more common.
Rising global temperatures coupled with increasingly sparse rainfall are likely to create even greater numbers of wildfires than the continents already experience, according to scientists from the University of California, Berkeley and Texas Tech University. The scientists carried out their research using sixteen different climate models of the world, dubbing it “one of the most comprehensive projections to date of how climate change might affect global fire patterns”.
One of the project’s researchers, Max Moritz, told the Risk Management Monitor’s Jared Wade that fire mitigation and coping measures will have to become standard inclusions when businesses consider their risks.
“In the long run, we found what most fear: increasing fire activity across large parts of the planet,” said Moritz, who led the study. “But the speed and extent to which some of these changes may happen is surprising.”
He did explain, however, that some of the world’s poorest countries and some crucially developing nations will be among he worst hit, with people in South East Asia depending on forest eco systems for their livelihoods. Moritz said it was a matter of learning how to “co-exist” with the natural processes of the world’s forests.
Moritz added that states and cities in the US that are already struggling to cope with the forest fires of today will be well positioned to help companies to develop a coping strategy in an even-riskier future.