Study finds global warming increases wildfires
Thursday, July 6, 2006
The study finds a correlation between a four-fold increase in the number of wildfires since 1987, and a rise in temperature in the Western United States during that time.
Study co-author Daniel Cayan says the warmer temperatures bring about spring and melt the snowpack much earlier.
Cayan: "That's going to consume the available moisture in the soil and also in fuels faster, and consequently we think that leads to an increase in wildfire activity that's been noted since the 1980's."
The boost in wildfires had previously been attributed to fire suppression policies that increased the amount of fuel in forests that help wildfires spread. Beth Ford Roth, KPBS news.
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