Posted on 01/02/2017 in News 32 2017
Climate change increases wildfire risk in Western USA

The US National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) considers that it is “well understood that extended droughts and increasing temperatures over the past several decades have increased the ‘fuel aridity’ of the landscape”, so making wildfires worse in the West of the USA.

A new study suggests that human contribution to this climate change has contributed to over 10 million acres of additional forest fire from 1984 to 2015, nearly doubling wildfire risk. The US spent over $1.7 billion on suppressing wildfires in 2015. The problem and its costs have also been exacerbated by increased human settlement and suppression of landscape management activities.

“Dry & drier. A new study quantifies the impact of human-generated climate change on the threat of wildfire in the western U.S.”, NFPA Journal Nov-Dec 2016 
“Impact of anthropogenic climate change on wildfire across western US forests”, J. Abatzoglou et al., PNAS October 2016, vol. 113, n°42, 11770–11775 

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