Monday, October 5, 2015

Drought, heat, climate change and fire in the US West

Other stories have knocked this year's wildfires off the front pages, but The New York Times takes another long look:
Climate change has lengthened fire seasons, which are, on average, 78 days longer than they were in 1970, and the six worst fire seasons since 1960 have come since 2000...the long-term trends are anything but good. And what is happening in the West is a harbinger for much of the rest of the planet.  
The trees in too-dense forests are already competing for water that the historically more sparse stands of trees might have found adequate; as drought increases, the stress will kill many trees outright and weaken others to the point that they become more vulnerable to predators like aggressive bark beetles 
Because of hotter drought, he said, “the future broad-scale vulnerability of forests globally is being widely underestimated, including the vulnerability of forests in wetter regions,” [expert Craig Allen] said.
More coverage, here
A daytime fire engulfing large trees

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