A new study found that forest fires doubled due to human activity. The last thirty years were characterized by an increased number of forest fires, as the scientists point out. Although wildfires do break out without notice and help from humans, man’s activities led to the accelerated phenomenon of global warming.
The report from scientists is mostly concerned with the situation in the West of the United States. The Cascade Mountains and parts of the Rocky Mountains are among the spots where most of the wildfires broke out. The damages of fires include burning the vegetation, causing loss of habitat for wild animals, to which the possibility of extending to inhabited areas is added.
Scientists also warn that this is only the beginning. They warn that such phenomena will become quite frequent, as climate change is advancing. Droughts and forest fires are among the natural disasters that people have to brace themselves.
The summer season is the most likely period for wildfires to occur. Warm temperatures, the dry vegetation and lack of humidity are ideal factors which boost the process of burning and increase the chances of a forest fire.
Calculations from researchers show that in less than forty years, the forests’ aridity increased by approximately fifty-five percent. Specialists used data gathered between 1979 and 2015. They also used climate models and aridity measurements for their new study.
Apart from human activities which induce global warming, there were also natural factors which contributed to the situations in the West of the United States. Rains and storms didn’t reach these parts because of the way weather develops in the Pacific Ocean.
Pest and climate conditions make trees weak and prone to catching fire. Tree populations are decimated by forest fires, a phenomenon which can only bring bad outcomes. Specialists suggest that action must be taken immediately.
Experts warn that urgent solutions are needed so that human-caused wildfires should be as rare as possible. If proper methods are not applied soon, the fires will become even more frequent and more damaging. Judging by the at which rate they are occurring, they might as well run out of natural fuel to burn, as the researchers explain.
So far, forests have lost approximately sixteen thousand square miles due to wildfires caused by human activities.
The report showing the situation of wildfires was published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
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