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Large Wildfires Are Now More Common and Destructive

Large Wildfires Are Now More Common and Destructive

The West continues to be a fiery inferno as August starts to fade into September. Wildfires have exploded across the region this month. There have been 115 large wildfires to date including 66 large fires that are still burning. Those fires along with thousands of smaller blazes have contributed to 7.7 million acres burned in the U.S. That puts … Read More

Drought-Fueled Wildfires Burn 7 Million Acres in U.S.

Drought-Fueled Wildfires Burn 7 Million Acres in U.S.

Sap a forest of rain — say, for three or four years — toss in seemingly endless sunshine and high temperatures, and you’ve got just the right recipe for some catastrophic wildfires. Such is the story playing out in the West, where, thanks in part to climate change, drought-fueled infernos are incinerating forests at a record pace from Alaska to … Read More

The Climate Change ‘Bully’ in California’s Drought

The Climate Change ‘Bully’ in California’s Drought

There’s a drought in California. Perhaps you’ve heard a few things about it. Like the fact that it’s cost the state $2.7 billion in losses, helped burn up roughly 118,000 acres of forest this year to-date and inspired Los Angeles to release a 96 million-strong armada of shade balls into reservoirs (though it was apparently a PR stunt). Oh, and the … Read More

El Niño Could Rank Among Strongest on Record

El Niño Could Rank Among Strongest on Record

This year’s El Niño is poised to join the ranks of the strongest such events on record, U.S. forecasters said Thursday, with potentially significant impacts for weather across the country this winter. “We’re predicting that this El Niño could be among the strongest El Niños in the historical record dating back to 1950,” Mike Halpert, the deputy… Read More

Heat Continues to Roast West, Fueling Drought, Blazes

Heat Continues to Roast West, Fueling Drought, Blazes

The U.S. West was once again a land of extremes in July. From Alaska to the Pacific Northwest, July was unusually hot, with some spots recording daily and monthly heat records, while other parts of California got a rare deluge. The heat across much of the West has done no favors for the deep drought and has helped to fuel a surge in wildfires… Read More

All of 2015’s Rain for the U.S. in 14 Seconds

All of 2015’s Rain for the U.S. in 14 Seconds

It’s no secret that it has been really wet in the Southeast and really dry out West over the first half of the year. But to really understand the split and how we got here, NASA has a helpful, color recap of the year in rain. The imagery comes courtesy of the agency’s Global Precipitation Measurement constellation of satellites. In February last … Read More

Missing: One Year’s Worth of California Rain

Missing: One Year’s Worth of California Rain

The amount of rain that California has missed out on since the beginning of its record-setting drought in 2012 is about the same amount it would see, on average, in a single year, a new study has concluded. The study’s researchers pin the reason for the lack of rains, as others have, on the absence of the intense rainstorms ushered in by so-called… Read More

Drought May Stunt Forests’ Ability to Capture Carbon

Drought May Stunt Forests’ Ability to Capture Carbon

Forests are sometimes called the lungs of the earth — they breathe in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and store it in tree trunks until the forest dies or burns. A new study, however, shows that forests devastated by drought may lose their ability to store carbon over a much longer period than previously thought, reducing their role as a buffer … Read More

Gallery

Winter Precipitation Trends While every region of the country has seen a rise in winter temperatures, precipitation trends paint a more varied picture.

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