Apparently, climate change has aggravated the wildfires that erupt time after time in the west.
Climate change scientists have always suspected that forest fires in the west have been made worse by certain circumstances. Yet the right question to ask is how much worse?
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Well, the correct answer is by twice as much as before. The areas burnt to cinders by wildfires have nearly doubled over the past 30 odd years or so. That happens to be a whopping 16,000 square miles of territory.
It is equal to the size of Massachusetts and Connecticut in combined form, according to Phys.org. The “Why” and “Wherefore” of this situation were difficult to gauge. Yet those were the real questions the scientists planned on gaining answers to in the long run.
Climate change has a host of inferences behind it. For one thing, the eruption of these forest fires is a new phenomena but it has become the new norm as well.
The quantification of this trend is what is needed. A large range of other things could be taking place that we remain ignorant about. The effects of global warming and transformations in humidity levels are just two markers that bear significant importance here.
As the temperature rises, the air is made drier than usual. This results in the moisture being sucked out of the trees and vegetation. They are thus more likely to start smoldering in the dead heat and this can be a potent cause of fires.
The summer is the peak time for such hazards. By employing various models and data, the aridity of the forests was calculated by the climate change scientists. From the beginning of the 80s till late last year, climate change increased the chances of wildfires by 55%.
Had the “dryness factor” not been there, half as much forest land would have been lost to wildfires over the past three decades. The role that the climate played in all this cannot be denied. It has also increased over the years.
Besides natural causes, the man-made pollution saw to it that things went topsy turvy. Furthermore, fire suppression has ironically made forests more likely to be susceptible to wildfires in the long run.
Also warm weather beetles may have led to the desiccation of so many trees thus indirectly adding fuel to the fires. Finally, low levels of snowfall may also be a very real factor in the overall scenario.