Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Increased Risk of Catastrophic Wildfires: Global Warming’s Wake Up Call for the Western United States

18.08.2008
“The massive wildfires raging in California this summer are symptomatic of a trend toward more fires burning larger areas in the Western United States over the past few decades,” said Dr. Amanda Staudt, climate scientist, National Wildlife Federation.

“Global warming can explain part of this trend,” Dr. Staudt said, “because it is feeding longer fire seasons, drier conditions, and more lightning. According to recent studies, the fire season stretches about 78 days longer and individual fires last about 30 days longer.”

"Increased Risk of Catastrophic Wildfires: Global Warming’s Wake-Up Call for the Western United States" details how:

• Global Warming Makes Forests More Susceptible to Fire
• Past Forest Management Makes Forests More Susceptible to Fire
• Large Wildfires Put Unnatural Stress on Ecosystems
• Large Fires Make Global Warming Worse
• To Reduce Risks and Prepare for Future Fires
Although fire is a natural and beneficial part of many forest ecosystems, the number and intensity of fires today is challenging fire managers and forest communities throughout the West. In 2007, for example, 3.2 million acres burned in the Great Basin region of Utah, Nevada, and Idaho, more than 1.1 million acres burned in the Northern Rockies, and a half million acres burned in Southern California. Combined with more than a million acres that burned in southeastern Georgia and northern Florida earlier that year, 2007 was the second busiest fire season since 1960, with more than 9 million acres burned.

The increase in big wildfires comes with increased losses and escalating costs to fight these fires. Property losses from wildfires have averaged more than $1 billion over the past decade. Annual federal government expenditures on fire fighting in 2007 were $3 billion, up from about $1 billion in 1999, and typically less than half that for the 1970s, 1980s, and early 1990s. The U.S. Forest Service now spends 45 percent of its annual budget on fire prevention and suppression, up from 20 percent in 2000.

Today’s new era of more frequent and intense fires demands new approaches to managing our forests and fire risk. “We must get at the root of the problem and reduce the global warming pollution that fuels more frequent and severe fires,” Dr. Staudt said. At the same time, it is critical to return our forests to more natural conditions and fire-cycles, step up protections for people and properties, and prepare to jumpstart new forest growth.

National Wildlife Federation is America's conservation organization inspiring Americans to protect wildlife for our children’s future.

Aileo Weinmann | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.nwf.org

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Treatment of saline wastewater during algae utilization
14.05.2019 | Jacobs University Bremen gGmbH

nachricht Plastic gets a do-over: Breakthrough discovery recycles plastic from the inside out
07.05.2019 | DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Self-repairing batteries

UTokyo engineers develop a way to create high-capacity long-life batteries

Engineers at the University of Tokyo continually pioneer new ways to improve battery technology. Professor Atsuo Yamada and his team recently developed a...

Im Focus: Quantum Cloud Computing with Self-Check

With a quantum coprocessor in the cloud, physicists from Innsbruck, Austria, open the door to the simulation of previously unsolvable problems in chemistry, materials research or high-energy physics. The research groups led by Rainer Blatt and Peter Zoller report in the journal Nature how they simulated particle physics phenomena on 20 quantum bits and how the quantum simulator self-verified the result for the first time.

Many scientists are currently working on investigating how quantum advantage can be exploited on hardware already available today. Three years ago, physicists...

Im Focus: Accelerating quantum technologies with materials processing at the atomic scale

'Quantum technologies' utilise the unique phenomena of quantum superposition and entanglement to encode and process information, with potentially profound benefits to a wide range of information technologies from communications to sensing and computing.

However a major challenge in developing these technologies is that the quantum phenomena are very fragile, and only a handful of physical systems have been...

Im Focus: A step towards probabilistic computing

Working group led by physicist Professor Ulrich Nowak at the University of Konstanz, in collaboration with a team of physicists from Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, demonstrates how skyrmions can be used for the computer concepts of the future

When it comes to performing a calculation destined to arrive at an exact result, humans are hopelessly inferior to the computer. In other areas, humans are...

Im Focus: Recording embryonic development

Scientists develop a molecular recording tool that enables in vivo lineage tracing of embryonic cells

The beginning of new life starts with a fascinating process: A single cell gives rise to progenitor cells that eventually differentiate into the three germ...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

SEMANTiCS 2019 brings together industry leaders and data scientists in Karlsruhe

29.04.2019 | Event News

Revered mathematicians and computer scientists converge with 200 young researchers in Heidelberg!

17.04.2019 | Event News

First dust conference in the Central Asian part of the earth’s dust belt

15.04.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Summit charts a course to uncover the origins of genetic diseases

22.05.2019 | Life Sciences

New study finds distinct microbes living next to corals

22.05.2019 | Life Sciences

Stellar waltz with dramatic ending

22.05.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>