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 States’ Most Cherished Historic Sites, the study examines
Brush burning fast at one of the mid-May San Diego fires, 2014 (photo from KHQ compilation). Fires are part of the Western North America lifestyle, unfortunately. “Every summer, smoke fills the big skies yet people continue to build in the places that burn most,” said Felicity Barringer Taubman, a senior reporter for The New York
(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
BREAKING: Late this evening (8 pm EST, or tomorrow, March 31, at 9 am in Tokyo), something large and unpleasant will hit the fan about climate change. At a press conference in Yokohama, the Nobel Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change will release its Fifth Assessment Report on impacts of human activities on current and
March 22, 2014, killer landslide near Seattle (photo: Kings County Sheriff’s Office). Last Saturday’s horrific mudslide 55 miles northeast of Seattle may unfortunately herald the shape of landmass movements to come, if climate change has its way with us. A new study in the European Alps elaborates. In a draft article for Elsevier’s Science of
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
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
From Grist, September 24, 2013.
“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
Climate change has long been expected to disrupt future fire patterns across the globe, and a new analysis of 16 climate models has only confirmed what many scientists had long feared. The study, led by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley and in collaboration with an international team of scientists, found that by
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
A new study has found that logging can increase the risk of catastrophic wildfires by changing the predominant variety of tree to one that is younger and therefore more prone to fire.
With the previous decades increase in ozone-depleting gases and now the more recent results of an increase in carbon dioxide, new research suggests that southern South America is likely to see more and more wildfires as climate conditions are negatively affected by human intervention.
Speaking at the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics’ (IUGG’s) Earth on the Edge: Science for a Sustainable Planet conference in Melbourne, Australia, CSIRO’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.
Since April 6, more than a million acres have burned throughout the state of the Texas, says the Texas Forest Service. This image, taken by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite, shows conditions on April 15, 2011. Wind whips both smoke and dust southeast across the state. The fires that MODIS detected are marked in red.
Taken using the Landsat-5 satellite on April 9, this image captures the difficulties being faced by firefighters in Mexico who are attempting to put out two large fires in northern Mexico’s Coahuila state.
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
One of the most disastrous results of climate change is the initialization of feedback loops which themselves further the impact of climate change. One of the most potentially dangerous of these are the fires which burn through the dryer parts of our planet. And according to a new study published in the journal Nature Geoscience
Now that the June 20, 2008 California lightning fires are nearly contained, talk has turned to salvage logging the burned areas. 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
The following post was written by Sul’ma’ejote, aka Dr. Darryl “Babe” Wilson, PhD. 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
On June 20, 2008, an unusual, early summer lightning storm sparked over 1400 fires in California. According to state wildfire maps, currently 489 fires are burning. The reduction in the number of fires is not because they have been put out, but because these blazes have merged. For example, the Hell’s Half Complex, which threatens