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Tennessee Wildfire is ‘Unlike Anything We’ve Ever Seen’

Tennessee Wildfire is ‘Unlike Anything We’ve Ever Seen’

The Southeast’s spate of freakish fall fires continued on Monday night. Tinderbox conditions and powerful winds whipped up a firestorm in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, forcing the evacuation of at least 14,000 residents from the gateway communities of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, Tenn. Fleeing residents documented a harrowing nighttime … Read More

What a Warmer Future Means for Southeastern Wildfires

What a Warmer Future Means for Southeastern Wildfires

When Jeff Prestemon stepped outside his home near Raleigh, N.C., last Friday around 9 a.m., the skies were clear, the air “perfectly breathable.” But just an hour-and-a-half later, the winds had shifted, drawing with them the smoke from regional wildfires. “It was putrid,” Prestemon, a research forester with the U.S. Forest Service, said. “It stung… Read More

Climate Change Behind Surge in Western Wildfires

Climate Change Behind Surge in Western Wildfires

The number of acres of forest burning yearly in large Western fires ballooned nine-fold from 1984 to 2015, with climate pollution and natural changes in the weather playing roughly equal roles in driving the deadly trend, research published Monday in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences concluded. The study showed that more than a… Read More

With Warming, Western Fires May Sicken More People

With Warming, Western Fires May Sicken More People

Shrouded by smoke from a fire in California’s parched San Bernardino Mountains, schools in the Victor Valley closed their doors last week. The Pilot Fire was contained on Monday — shortly before the Blue Cut Fire broke out, billowing soot and ash over the valley afresh, forcing further closures. “This is a pretty unprecedented situation,” said … Read More

Climate Change’s Fingerprints All Over California Wildfires

Climate Change’s Fingerprints All Over California Wildfires

Reports this week from the front lines of the Sand Fire in Southern California painted the scene as apocalyptic. The drought-fueled blaze was explosive, fast-moving and devastating, burning through 38,000 acres in the Santa Clarita Valley and forcing the evacuation of more than 10,000 homes. If the state’s wildfire season holds true to forecasts… Read More

Weather Disasters Can Fuel War in Volatile Countries

Weather Disasters Can Fuel War in Volatile Countries

Following the warmest two years on record and spikes in violence that fueled a global refugee crisis, climate scientists on Monday reported that armed fighting is prone to follow droughts, heatwaves and other weather-related calamities in turbulent countries. Nearly a quarter of deadly armed conflicts in the countries with the most diverse ethnic … Read More

Double Shock of El Niño, La Niña Could Affect 100 Million

Double Shock of El Niño, La Niña Could Affect 100 Million

The number of people affected by the combined impact of the El Niño and La Niña weather patterns could exceed 100 million by the end of the year, according to the United Nations. The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates that more than 60 million people, two thirds of them in east and southern Africa, are facing food shortages … Read More

Alberta Wildfires Costliest Disaster in Canadian History

Alberta Wildfires Costliest Disaster in Canadian History

The Fort McMurray wildfire, driven by drought and climate change, was the costliest natural disaster in Canadian history, ringing up $3.58 billion in losses, according to the Insurance Bureau of Canada. The wildfire, which ignited May 1 in eastern Alberta and was brought under control on July 5, forced Canada’s largest-ever evacuation. It scorched… Read More

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Arctic Sea Ice Extent Below Average Since 2002 The annual Arctic sea ice minimum extent has been below average every year since 2002.

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