Climate Change in California Is Behind Early Destructive Wildfires

Large southern California wildfires in early May were an early and ominous start to the state’s fire season, fueled by unusually dry conditions and 25 to 60 mph winds that usually aren’t seen until late fall, reports Katie Valentine at Climate Progress. California has experienced record low rainfall since the “rain year” began in July 2012, the type of extreme weather predicted under continuing climate change. Los Angeles receiving only about five inches of rain since then, with an unusually dry spring that added only 2 inches of the 11 inches of rain normally expected during that time . The year’s low rainfall coupled with strong Santa Ana winds have created perfect conditions for wildfires in the region, as climatologist William Patzert noted. “It’s remarkable to get Santa Anas in May.… Every way you look at it, it’s been remarkable, unusual and incendiary.” So far, there have beenover 680 wildfires this year — 200 above the average for this point in the season. With more dry weather forecast and little snowpack, federal officials warn of a potentially “devastating” fire season for the state.

Join the swelling numbers of voters TELLING Congress they’ll vote for Clean Energy candidates here: http://signon.org/sign/we-are-the-clean-99?source=c.em.cp&r_by=487176 . This is an ongoing campaign (the next Congressional election is in 2 years!) so please, spread the word. It’s our way of telling Congress that a strong clean energy voting bloc is out there. This is how YOU can make a difference.

 

For more on Climate Change, check out my weekly column at the HuffingtonPost, Climate Change This Week : http://www.huffingtonpost.com/author/index.php?author=mary-ellen-harte

 

Source

‘Mother Nature Turned Off The Spigot’: California Wildfires Fueled By ‘Remarkable’ Dry Weather Conditions http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/05/03/1959121/mother-nature-turned-off-the-spigot-california-wildfires-fueled-by-remarkable-dry-weather-conditions/

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About melharte

Mel (Mary Ellen) Harte is a biologist (PhD) and climate change educator. She co-authored the free online book, COOL THE EARTH, SAVE THE ECONOMY, available at www.CoolTheEarth.US, and writes the CLIMATE CHANGE THIS WEEK column at the HuffingtonPost. Living summers in the alpine Rockies, she is on the frontlines of watching what climate change can do. Her diagnostic digital photographs of wildflowers have appeared in numerous publications.
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