Date of Graduation
Eberly College of Arts and Sciences
Geology and Geography
Oceanic/atmospheric oscillations affect climate in many ways. This study quantitatively examined climate teleconnection patterns and in turn analyzed the influence of climate on wildfire activity within West Virginia from 1939--2006. Identifying the linkages between oscillations and climate variability has the potential to greatly improve seasonal forecasting capabilities. Despite the complexity inherent in local fire regimes, regional fire activity often oscillates in phase with year-to-year climatic variability. This climate-fire connection raises the possibility that historical factors inherent in the local ecosystem are overridden by regional climatic events and trends. A robust statistical analysis that utilized correlation, regression, principle components, and Superposed Epoch Analysis was conducted to explore these relationships. Results suggest that oscillations in the North Atlantic and the Northern Pacific drive West Virginia's climatic variability. This study also suggests that climate influences West Virginia's wildfire activity.
Lynch, Cary, "Evaluating the impact of oceanic/atmospheric teleconnections on historical wildfires in West Virginia (1939--2006)" (2010). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 876.