Fire season is back. If the San José State University’s Wildfire Interdisciplinary Research Center in Northern California is correct, we are expecting the upcoming wildfire season could top even 2020, which, for the state of California, was its most severe in modern history. The 2021 fire season is predicted to be even larger than 2020. The causes of such a deadly fire season are varied including:
• Drought regions are continuing to expand, with eight states in the Western United States experiencing long-term drought lasting anywhere from five to twenty years.
• Temperatures rising sooner in the year and staying hot longer.
• Combined with the lack of funding to manage federal areas
• The wildland-human interface (the region where Human habitation and the boundaries to forested regions) continuing to expand as Humans move closer to nature.
• In 2020, over 10,000 wildfires tore through the state; nearly 4.2 million acres burned. Its northern neighbor Oregon also experienced one of its most destructive wildfire seasons in modern history, as did the state of Washington.
• In total, wildfires burned 10.2 million acres on the West Coast, killing at least 37 people and causing over $19.8 billion in damages.
The National Weather Service, a part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has stepped up its drought monitoring making regions of potential drought another way of tracking “weather” as prolonged drought often precedes fire events, either through Human interaction with nature, or the effect of storms (thunderstorms and lightning strikes in particular).
For the next three weeks, we are going to address drought, fire, and its aftermath on social, cultural and economic conditions in the United States and around the world. There are a host of questions which need to be answered including:
• As the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere continues to rise each year — is it logical to assume that the fire season, like the amount of carbon in the air, will continue to get worse? (#climatedisaster #drought, #DroughtMonitor)
• In a world where temperatures continue to rise, natural water scarcity through precipitation is decreasing, particularly in the Western United States, what are the contingency plans for fighting fire? (#firemanagement, #firefighting, #prisonlabor)
• As fire continue to spread, what does this mean for home building and buying properties near the wildland-interface? (#propertyvalues, #homebuying)
• Will people be able to get fire insurance in the future? If not, what will this mean to property values in the affected regions? (#fireeconomics, #insuranceprotection)
• With NOAA providing daily reporting on drought around the country, does this mean citizens living in drought regions need to consult with weather monitoring service on a daily basis during the fire season? (#lifestyle, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA))
• Fire season is creating new weather phenomena like “smoke waves.” Researchers first coined this term in 2016, in which a new event where a region experiences unhealthy levels of 2.5 micron particulate pollution (PM2.5) from wildfires. Smoke waves “are likely to be longer, more intense, and more frequent under climate change, which raises health, ecological, and economic concerns.” A 57 percent increase in frequency, and a 31 percent increase in intensity of smoke waves, was predicted to occur by 2046 – 2051, affecting more than 82 million people. What will “smoke waves” mean to Human populations in affected regions? Will we have to make changes to our lifestyles even if we don’t live along the wildlife-interface border? (#smokeprotection, #N95masks)
• With the coronavirus affecting staffing across the nation, what part will the shortage in manpower mean to fighting fires? How do you feel about prison labor being used to fight fires?
• As wildfires grow larger, requiring more manpower and technology, are there ways we can prevent fires which should be FAR cheaper than fighting the fires themselves? If this is true, why does it seem very little effort is being made in this regard with less than five percent of the national forests being protected from wildfires by the federal government?
These questions and anything else you can bring to the party for the next three weeks are welcome as we discuss the impending summer and its approaching FIRE SEASON, tonight on Climate Change by the Elements!
Join us next time!
CLIMATE CHANGE BY THE ELEMENTS, Now with Coronavirus
A live-audio cast with The Good Men Project & Lisa Hickey
With show hosts: Thaddeus Howze and Carol Bluestein
Thursday, May 06, 2021 5:00 pm PDT – 8:00 pm EDT
Use your phone to Dial: 1 701-801-1220
Log In: 934-317-242 then press (#)
Or your computer using:
NATIONAL OCEANIC ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
Nationwide Fire Monitoring (United States)
List of the largest fires to occur in 2021
1 • 2003 Russian wildfires, 200,000
2 • 2019-2020 Australian bushfire season; 180,000
3 • 2019 Siberia wildfires; 43,000
4 • 2014 Northwest Territories fires; Canada 34,000
5 • 2009 black Saturday bushfires; 21,000
6 • 2020 California wildfires; 18,000
7 • 2010 Bolivia forest fires; 15,000
8 • 2011–2012 Australian bushfire season; 14,000
9 • 2006-2007 Australian bushfire season; 13,000
10 • 2017 British Columbia wildfires; 12,000
SALON: Wildfire researchers have a “grim” forecast for 2021’s fire season, say it could be worse than 2020
A drought-ridden California and dry summer forecast in the West could lead to catastrophe
FORTUNE: Early signs show 2021 could be an especially catastrophic wildfire season in California
This post is republished on Medium.
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