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Climate Change Contributing to California Forest Fires (Again)

In California, warm days have gotten warmer by 2.5 degrees since the 1970s. Hotter temperatures mean drier land. A parched atmosphere is conducive to more fires.

According to a recent study published in the journal Earth's Future, "The clearest link between California wildfire and anthropogenic climate change thus far has been via warming-driven increases in atmospheric aridity, which works to dry fuels and promote summer forest fire. It is well established that warming promotes wildfire throughout the western US, particularly in forested regions, by enhancing atmospheric moisture demand and reducing summer soil moisture as snowpack declines."

In autumn, the California fires that take place in coastal shrub lands are caused by extreme winds, such as the Diablo and the Santa Ana. These strong winds quickly dry vegetation on the ground and spread wildfires when they occur before the onset of winter precipitation.

Cal Fire has reported that 13 of the 20 largest fires occurred during the summer.

Another recent report from the World Meteorological Organization states that the size of fires is growing: "The northern part of the world is warming faster than the planet as a whole. That heat is drying out forests and making them more susceptible to burn."

Isn’t it ironic that anti-science Trump, climate ignorance embodied, claims he knows how to prevent forest fires? How long can the Earth sustain humanity? Where is the climate leadership? How much longer will we continue to stand by while the Trump administration diverts federal aid to bring more money to the richest of the rich? How much longer will Americans let this administration destroy our planet for their own temporary financial gain?

“We’re waging war against the most destructive fires in our state’s history, and Trump is conducting a full-on assault against the antidote,” said California Governor Gavin Newsom.

At a hearing in Washington DC, former California governor Jerry Brown said, "The seas are rising, diseases are spreading, fires are burning, hundreds of thousands of people are leaving their homes. California is burning while the deniers fight the standards that can help us all. This is life-and-death stuff.”



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