NewsJune 29, 2015

Kenward Talks Alaskan Wildfires With Jim Cantore

By Climate Central

Alaska Entering New Era for Wildfires Report

With more than 1 million acres of forests scorched in June, Alaska is in the midst of a blazing wildfire season. Alyson Kenward, Climate Central's research director, spoke with The Weather Channel's Jim Cantore on Monday about the current spate of wildfires and a recent Climate Central report that chronicles the troubling long-term changes to the state's fire regime. A combination of rising temperatures and dwindling spring snowpack have set Alaska up for a dramatic shift in wildfire activity. Fire season is also stretching 35 days longer compared to 60 years ago. There have been nearly twice as many large wildfires in the past two decades compared to the 1950s and 60s, including a rapidly growing number in the state's Arctic region. Unless greenhouse gas emissions are cut, the amount of area burned by wildfires is projected to double by 2050 and triple by 2100.