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These Tiny Satellites Could Keep an Eye on Wildfires

These Tiny Satellites Could Keep an Eye on Wildfires

Close your eyes. Imagine a world where satellites smaller than a shoebox could tell you about every fire burning on earth. Now open them. You’re living in that world (or at least you will be in just a few years). NASA has announced an ambitious plan to surround the earth with hundreds of tiny satellites that could monitor wildfires in near real … Read More

Warming May Boost Carbon Storage on Public Lands

Warming May Boost Carbon Storage on Public Lands

Public lands are considered one of America’s best defenses against rising greenhouse gas emissions because the forests there pull vast quantities of carbon from the atmosphere and store it in tree trunks and roots. As the climate warms, public lands may become even more valuable in America’s effort to fight greenhouse gas emissions because climate… Read More

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

Wildfires Are Ruining the National Park Service’s Birthday

Wildfires Are Ruining the National Park Service’s Birthday

In honor of the agency’s 99th birthday, the National Park Service is offering free entrance to its 58 parks and 350 other sites. In the Pacific Northwest and Northern Rockies, park visitors might also be hoping that entry comes with a free respirator and x-ray vision. Smoke from large wildfires is obscuring some of the stunning vistas that inspired… Read More

U.S. Summers Bringing More and More Heat

U.S. Summers Bringing More and More Heat

It’s officially summer! We have now passed the points that mark the traditional start to summer (Memorial Day), the meteorological start (June 1), and now the astronomical start, or summer solstice (June 21) — so break out those flip-flops and beach towels! Though June, July, and August usually bring the heat, for parts of the country spring felt … Read More

Will The West Ever Be Able To Live With Fire?

Will The West Ever Be Able To Live With Fire?

Scientific progress and more than a century of living with wildfire have boosted Western resilience to the threat. But improvements in how wildfire dangers have been managed have fallen far short of the reimaginations of landscapes that are needed. “We’ve made good progress, but not good enough,” Jan van Wagtendonk, a retired Yosemite National Par… Read More

With Climate Change, Ticks Marching Farther and Earlier

With Climate Change, Ticks Marching Farther and Earlier

You might not be aware of it, but May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month, devoted to reminding people who spend time in wooded areas to cover up. Otherwise, a bite from a black-legged tick (Ixodes scapularis, a.k.a. a deer tick) could lead to joint and muscle pain — and in some cases, to chronic arthritis, mental confusion and even heart problems.… Read More

Intense Wildfire Season Expected in West

Intense Wildfire Season Expected in West

Amid one the West’s worst droughts in centuries, more than 5,600 wildfires scorched more than 600,000 acres last year in California alone. It could happen again. With drought showing signs of worsening across the West and Upper Midwest, the Forest Service anticipates that it may spend up to $1.6 billion fighting wildfires in 2015, in a fire … 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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