I am grateful to Prof. A. Ohmura for the support of this study and his valuable comments on the manuscript. This study would not have been possible without the many efforts of Dr. H. Gilgen regarding all aspects of the GEBA database. Thanks to Drs. M. Déqué, Météo-France, and R. Stratton, Hadley Centre, for making available the output of the ARPEGE and HadAM2b GCMs within the framework of the EU project HIRETYCS. The data of the fire occurrences stem from the web site established by Drs. O. Arino and J.-M. Melinotte from ESA/ESRIN. Special thanks to Drs. S. Cusack and A. Slingo, Hadley Centre, for providing the data from their HadAM3 experiments. The Swiss Scientific Computing Centre CSCS generously provided the necessary computer resources for the high resolution ECHAM T106 simulations. This study is part of the EU program environment, project HIRETYCS, and is supported by the Swiss Bundesamt für Bildung und Wissenschaft (BBW) Grant No. 95.0640. Thanks to Dr. M. Verstraete and an anonymous reviewer for their detailed and constructive reviews. Finally I would like to thank Prof. M. Beniston, University of Fribourg, for the organisation of the workshop on biomass burning in Wengen, Switzerland, which gave motivation to carry out the above study.

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