Skip to main content
SLU publication database (SLUpub)

Research article2022Peer reviewedOpen access

Scandinavian Forest Fire Activity Correlates with Proxies of the Baffin Bay Ice Cover

Drobyshev, Igor; Bergeron, Yves; Ryzhkova, Nina; Kryshen, Alexander


Understanding factors driving fire activity helps reveal the degree and geographical variability in the resilience of boreal vegetation to large scale climate forces. We studied the association between sea ice cover in the Baffin Bay and the Labrador Sea and observational records of forest fires in two Nordic countries (Norway and Sweden) over 1913-2017. We found a positive correlation between ice proxies and regional fire activity records suggesting that the Arctic climate and the associated changes in North Atlantic circulation exercise an important control on the levels of fire activity in Scandinavia. Changes in the sea cover are likely correlated with the dynamic of the North Atlantic Current. These dynamics may favor the development of the drought conditions in Scandinavia through promoting persistent high-pressure systems over the Scandinavian boreal zone during the spring and summer. These periods are, in turn, associated with an increased water deficit in forest fuels, leading to a regionally increased fire hazard. The Arctic climate will likely be an important future control of the boreal fire activity in the Nordic region.


forest fires; disturbance regimes; climate-fire interactions; trends in drought conditions

Published in

2022, Volume: 13, number: 1, article number: 60
Publisher: MDPI

    Associated SLU-program

    SLU Forest Damage Center

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Climate Research

    Publication identifier


    Permanent link to this page (URI)