Wednesday, January 23, 2008

CLIMATE PATTERN CHANGES 2 - global warming

Consequence: drought and wildfire
Warmer temperatures could also increase the probability of drought. Greater evaporation, particularly during summer and fall, could exacerbate drought conditions and increase the risk of wildfires.

    Warning signs today

    Greater evaporation as a result of global warming
    could increase the risk of wildfires.

  • The 1999-2002 national drought was one of the three most extensive droughts in the last 40 years

  • Warming may have lead to the increased drought frequency that the West has experienced over the last 30 years.

  • The 2006 wildland fire season set new records in both the number of reported fires as well as acres burned. Close to 100,000 fires were reported and nearly 10 million acres burned, 125 percent above the 10-year average.

  • If warming continues to exacerbate wildfire seasons, it could be costly. Fire-fighting expenditures have consistently totaled upwards of $1 billion per year.