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Study: Forest Fires Have Doubled in the Western United States

Wildfires ravaged the western United States again this year, reflecting the new normal of climate change.
October 11, 2016, 6am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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The Erskine Fire near Lake Isabella, California in June 2016.
U.S. Department of Agriculture

Paul Rogers reports: "Climate change from human activity nearly doubled the area that burned in forest fires in the American West over the last 30 years, a major new scientific study has found, and larger, more intense fires are all but guaranteed in the years ahead."

"On public and privately owned forest lands, 23.5 million acres burned in the 11 Western states from 1984 to 2015. Climate change was responsible for roughly 10.4 million of those acres — an area 30 times the size of the city of Los Angeles — because of hotter and drier conditions than otherwise would have occurred," writes Rogers to explain the study's findings.

The study was published on October 10, 2016 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. A press release from the University of Idaho has more on the study.

Full Story:
Published on Monday, October 10, 2016 in The San Jose Mercury News
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