Expect Bigger, Fiercer Wildfires In West, Say Experts

More heat, more drought, more fuel and more people in the way are adding up to increasingly ferocious fires, report Alicia Chang and Seth Borenstein at ABC News. Scientists say a hotter planet will only increase the risk. More than two dozen wildland fires are burning from Alaska to New Mexico, fueled by triple-digit temperatures and arid conditions. While no single wildfire can be pinned solely on climate change, researchers say there are signs that fires are becoming bigger and more common in an increasingly hot and bone-dry West. “Twenty years ago, I would have said this was a highly unusual, fast-moving, dangerous fire,” said fire history expert Don Falk at the University of Arizona at Tucson, referring to the Yarnell Hill fire. “Now unfortunately, it’s not unusual at all.” US Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell told a recent Senate hearing that wildfires are chewing through twice as many acres per year on average in the United States compared with 40 years ago. A recent federal report noted that climate change is stressing Western forests, making them more vulnerable to fires.

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

 

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Source

http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/wireStory/experts-expect-bigger-fiercer-wildfires-west-19583644#.UeSMqaz7Zgh

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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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