Climate Matters

California Wildfire Resources

Climate Matters Meteorologists,

 

Wildfires continuing to ravage California, and the worsening wildfire trend in the western U.S. is a sign of a changing climate. Higher temperatures from increasing greenhouse gases are making conditions more conducive for the spread of fires. Specifically this year, vegetation in California flourished in the spring after a wet winter. But the state had its hottest summer on record in concert with its normally dry summer season. As a result, large amounts of vegetation had dried out, providing additional fuel for wildfires this year.

 

Here are some resources to help you tell the climate change aspect of the story:

 

High resolution graphics illustrate the trends in the number of wildfires for individual western states, like California, and the West as a whole (link and examples below):

 

western wildfires

 

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western wildfires

 

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• Our interactive graphical wildfire tracker indicates the location and size of current wildfires:

 

california wildfires — wxshift

 

 

• We also performed a comprehensive study on western wildfire trends, which indicates the average length of the wildfire season in the western U.S. is more than 3 months longer than in 1970.

 

 

Let us know if you have any questions, or if we can help you find what you need to help tell the story.

 

Sean

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