wildfire

UCS Examines Climate Change From Sea To Shining Sea

More imminent than deadly viruses or terrorists at national events is the phenomenon of climate change, a force examined in a groundbreaking new report released today by the Union of Concerned Scientists. Titled National Landmarks at Risk: How Rising Seas, Floods and Wildfires are Threatening the United Statesโ€™ Most Cherished Historic Sites, the study examines […]

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Wicked Fires of Climate Change Inflame The West (photo-essay)

There are the good wildfires, and there are the bad. Unfortunately, the latter often overwhelm the beneficial ones. Weโ€™ll go on with stories from San Diego in a minute—it’s a long story of an actually short time—but hereโ€™s a word about the bright side first. Whoopi Goldberg had a thought thatโ€™s worth repeating: When you

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National Climate Assessment Pulls No Punches About US Options

(All figures are from the 2014 National Climate Assessment draft.) Later today (Tuesday, May 6), at 8 a.m. EDT, the National Climate Assessment and Development Advisory Committee of experts meets by conference call to approve the final version of the Third National Climate Assessment. The gist of their message, as Suzanne Goldenberg of The Guardian

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XL, Or No XL? Public Comments End With Poll Surprise

Laying a pipeline across agricultural land (photo: eponline.com). Friday afternoon, and officials at the State Department are probably breathing a huge sigh of relief. The official public comment period on the northern extension of the $5.4 billion Keystone XL pipeline expired today. And the unofficial public comment that’s making the news is today’s release of

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"Lousy, Spoilt, and Defiled Planet" Climate Talks Begin In Warsaw

Officials open the 2013 UNFCCC meetings with determination and louder warnings…. (Photo source: http://ow.ly/qL43P) It’s time for the governments of the world to struggle with climate change policy again. Every year, late in November and early in December, representatives of 195 nations gather for two weeks to try to negotiate global responses to the increasingly

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Declining And Misused Federal Fire Dollars: The Rim Fire

“Monster” fire consumes almost 10% of Yosemite National Park, August-September 2013 (Photo: U.S. Forest Service) Annual costs of fighting wildfires have grown exponentially over the past decade. They now surpass the value of resources reclaimed. The Rim Fire burning in and near Yosemite National Park has already cost over $65 million, and it is less

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US Experiences A Dozen Billion-Dollar Weather Disasters in 2011

For the United States, 2011 has been a costly year when it comes to weather and climate disasters, suffering 12 separate billion dollar disasters in the year alone. The total aggregate damage for the year totals an approximate $52 billion, breaking the previous record of nine separate billion dollar weather/climate disasters in 2008. Sadly, across

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What Part Will Fire Play in a Warmer Future

Speaking at the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysicsโ€™ (IUGGโ€™s) Earth on the Edge: Science for a Sustainable Planet conference in Melbourne, Australia, CSIROโ€™s Dr Melita Keywood has said that closer scientific study is needed to determine just how the frequency and intensity of wildfires and intentional biomass burning will change in a future climate.

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Southwestern Forests Weakened by Drought and Rising Temperatures

New research into the tree populations of Southwest America have found that these forests will face reduced growth if temperatures continue to rise and rain continues to fall. The researchers looked at tree-ring data and climate models to find that the rising temperatures and falling precipitation have led to a decline in the fitness of

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Wildfire Ecology Part 4: Salvage Logging Hinders Natural Regeneration and Makes Burn Areas More Fire Prone

Now that the June 20, 2008 California lightning fires are nearly contained, talk has turned to salvage logging the burned areas.ย  Two years ago, an Oregon State University study has called into question the practice of salvage logging after a fire as a means of promoting forest rehabilitation and future fire safety, as well as

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Wildfire Ecology Part 2: A Native American's Thoughts on Forest Fire

The following post was written by Sul’ma’ejote, aka Dr. Darryl “Babe” Wilson, PhD.ย  Sul’ma’ejote was born in 1939 in Qatsade (Fall River Valley) on the north bank of Sul’ma’ejote (Fall River), a stone toss from It’ajuma (Pit River) in far northern California. He has written several books, including The Morning the Sun Went Down, about

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Wildfire Ecology Part 1: Almost 4 Weeks Later, 489 California Wildfires Still Burning

On June 20, 2008, an unusual, early summer lightning storm sparked over 1400 fires in California.ย  According to state wildfire maps, currently 489 fires are burning.ย  The reduction in the number of fires is not because they have been put out, but because these blazes have merged.ย  For example, the Hell’s Half Complex, which threatens

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