A study of the fires in western states

Climate Change Has Doubled Western U.S. Forest Fires, Says Study

Carbon released to the air adds to the burden of greenhouse gases already there, thus producing even more warming. Based on this information and known emission factors for combustion, the researchers predict that smoke will increase 20— percent by the s, depending on the region and the type of particle.

Williams and Abatzoglou say they do not account for some factors that could be offshoots of climate warming, and thus they may be understating the effect.

These have seen more fires too, but there is little evidence that climate plays a role there, said Abatzoglou; rather, the spread of highly flammable invasive grasses appears to be the main driver.

They also found that the average forest in the area under study had 4 percent less rainfall per decade, and the worst of them had a 47 percent decline. Their third finding was that there appeared to be an even more pronounced correlation between declining amounts of summer precipitation and the number and size of wildfires.

For this study, the Harvard group followed the A1B scenario, which considers the climatological effect of a fast-growing global economy relying on a mixture of fossil fuels and renewable energy sources.

In their paper published in Proceedings of that National Academy of Sciences, the group describes their study of rainfall and fires in the area, and what they found.

Reporter Scott Shindledecker can be reached at or sshindledecker dailyinterlake. They also found that the average forest in the area under study had 4 percent less rainfall per decade, and the worst of them had a 47 percent decline.

Climate Change Has Doubled Western U.S. Forest Fires, Says Study

The fire burned 14 square miles in the community of Helena about miles south of Oregon. If these trends persist, decreases in summer precipitation and the associated summertime aridity increases would lead to more burned area across the western United States with far-reaching ecological and socioeconomic impacts.

West have gone up about 2. Prior research has suggested that the primary reason for the change is an increase in temperatures in the region. In the Rocky Mountain forest, for example, the best predictor of wildfire area in a given year is the amount of moisture in the forest floor, which depends on the temperature, rainfall, and relative humidity that season.

The paper is online at http: Fire return intervals in forested US ecosystems vary, but range from decades in semi-arid interior forests to centuries for coastal ecosystems [ 21 ]. Before conducting their analysis, the group proposed three main possible factors contributing to the increase and size of fires—that they were due to reduced snowpack, that they were due to higher temperatureor that they were due to lower rainfall.

The authors warn that further warming will increase fire exponentially in coming decades. The main innovation of the new study is its reliance on an ensemble of climate models, rather than just one or two.

Prior research has suggested that the primary reason for the change is an increase in temperatures in the region. The authors warn that further warming will increase fire exponentially in coming decades. The study appears today in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

In the Western US, fires can be widespread in a state one year and virtually absent the next e. Williams and others say that eventually, so many western forests will burn, they will become too fragmented for fires to spread easily, and the growth in fire will cease. Courtesy Mike Daniels A new study says that human-induced climate change has doubled the area affected by forest fires in the U.

That said, fires are not expected to increase everywhere.

Study: Decreasing Number of Rainy Days in Summer Has Increased Western Wildfire

Tg CO2 yr-1 in Alaska. The findings are based on a set of internationally recognized climate scenarios, decades of historical meteorological data, and records of past fire activity. Decreasing fire season precipitation increased recent western US forest wildfire activity, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Warmer air can hold more water vapor, for instance, but what does this mean for fires?

These results suggest that precipitation during the fire season exerts the strongest control on burned area either directly through its wetting effects or indirectly through feedbacks to VPD. Their first finding was that a reduction in snowpack was not a factor, either in the increase in fires or how big they grew.

Geological Survey in Anchorage, Alaska. At both national and international levels, there is an increasing focus on the establishment of emission inventories and regulation of regional C emissions to the atmosphere.

The calculations suggest the following for in the western United States, in comparison to present-day conditions: We use path analysis to decompose the relative influence of declining snowpack, rising temperatures, and declining precipitation on observed fire activity increases.

There are numerous well-documented effects of fire on atmospheric chemistry, pollutants, and ecosystems e.The National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho, a federal agency that coordinates wildfire-fighting, said 80 large fires were burning on.

Study suggests less rainfall in western U.S. likely major contributor to increase in wildfires the group describes their study of rainfall and fires in.

Nov 01,  · In the Western US, fires can be widespread in a state one year and virtually absent the next (e.g.,).

Study suggests less rainfall in western U.S. likely major contributor to increase in wildfires

In a study of emissions in Canada, wildfires contribute the equivalent of 18% of emissions from the energy sector of the country with a year to year range in emissions that varies from 2 to 75%. Study: Human-Caused Climate Change Has Doubled Western U.S.

Forest Fire Area October 10, Human-caused climate change has nearly doubled the amount of land burned in western U.S. forest fires over the past three decades, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Idaho and Columbia University.

Study suggests less rainfall in western U.S. likely major contributor to increase in wildfires

Days of record heat made the western United States tinder dry in early July Numerous wildfires raced across the dry terrain during the weekend of July 7. From Washington to Arizona, firefighters were battling fast-moving wildfires that threatened residences, businesses, gas wells, coal mines, communications equipment, and municipal watersheds.

Forest fires have doubled in West due to climate change, study finds million acres burned in the 11 Western states from to

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A study of the fires in western states
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