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Geophysical Research Letters

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Southern Hemisphere -- Climate, Climatic changes -- Southern Hemisphere, Teleconnections (Climatology)


Recent changes in trend and variability of the main Southern Hemisphere climate modes are driven by a variety of factors, including increasing atmospheric greenhouse gases, changes in tropical sea surface temperature, and stratospheric ozone depletion and recovery. One of the most important implications for climatic change is its effect via climate teleconnections on natural ecosystems, water security, and fire variability in proximity to populated areas, thus threatening human lives and properties. Only sparse and fragmentary knowledge of relationships between teleconnections, lightning strikes, and fire is available during the observed record within the Southern Hemisphere. This constitutes a major knowledge gap for undertaking suitable management and conservation plans. Our analysis of documentary fire records from Mediterranean and temperate regions across the Southern Hemisphere reveals a critical increased strength of climate-fire teleconnections during the onset of the 21st century including a tight coupling between lightning-ignited fire occurrences, the upward trend in the Southern Annular Mode, and rising temperatures across the Southern Hemisphere.


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