The fire currently burning in Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, California, isn’t particularly large: As of the latest Forest Service report, it has burned 769 acres and is 20 percent contained.
Nor is it particularly damaging: So far, 22 buildings or structures have been destroyed by the fire. (One was the fire chief’s home.) Compare that with the 2003 Cedar Fire in San Diego county, which destroyed 2,820 structures.
However, it is markedly unseasonal: The California wildfire season was pronounced over on October 31, 2013. But of course, it isn’t over.
In general, western wildfire seasons are getting longer. Thomas Tidwell, chief of the US Forest Service, said so directly in recent congressional testimony, noting that “the length of the fire season has increased by over two months since the 1970s.”
And of course, it doesn’t help that the Big Sur area is currently experiencing drought conditions.
It is also worth pointing out that for the state of California, seven of its 10 largest fires have occurred since the year 2000, including this year’s Rim Fire, the third largest in state history.
Here’s a helpful infographic from the Union of Concerned Scientists, showing just how much fire seasons are lengthening: Read more…
All the wildfires that have hit the bulk of North America over the last 6 months make for a strikingly full picture when put together. This new map from NOAA shows each fire detected by satellites so far this season.
It’s important to note what this map is showing before you draw any conclusions, however. Each spot on the map represents a fire signature caught by a thermal sensor on NOAA’s GOES satellites. Every time a fire is detected, a new spot is added — this means when two different satellites see the same fire, two tiny dots are added. When the same satellite sees the same fire again, another dot. So far this year, fires have Read more…
An intense heat wave in Siberia has contributed to an unusual flare up of wildfires across the fragile and carbon-rich landscape. Smoke from the fires is lofting high into the atmosphere, and is drifting toward the Arctic, where soot can hasten the melting of snow and sea ice.
The Siberian city of Norilsk, the most northerly city in the world with a population greater than 100,000, recorded temperatures above 83F over eight consecutive days starting on July 18, according to blogger Chris Burt of Weather Underground. During that timespan, Burt reported, the mercury hit 90F, breaking the record for the hottest temperature recorded for the city. For comparison the average July high temperature in Norilsk is a comparatively chilly 61F.
Norilsk isn’t an isolated example, but rather sits amid a sea of abnormally hot temperatures and smoky conditions in north-central Siberia. According to NASA’s Earth Observatory, from July 20 through July 27, temperatures were about 30F above average across a large swath of this vast, sparsely populated region.
The warm weather has contributed to a spike in wildfires. As of July 29, wildfires continued to burn at least 22,200 acres in Siberia, according to news reports. Heavy smoke from them grounded commercial flights in Omsk, a city in Read more…
The seeds of conflict take root.
This is one of the scenarios Joachim Schellnhuber, director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, presented today to members of the United Nations Security Council in New York to show the connection between climate change and global security challenges.
Either rich nations will find a way to supply needy nations suffering from damaging climate effects “or you will have all kinds of unrest and revolutions, with the export of angry and hungry people to the industrialised countries,” Schellnhuber said in an interview.
In the Marshall Islands — site of US nuclear tests in the 1940s and 1950s and now being lost to Read more…
On CBS This Morning on Thursday, Kaku discussed 2012′s “wacky weather” and how global warming, which creates more energy circulating on the planet, exacerbates destructive tornadoes, storms, hurricanes and even forest fires.
“You look at the weather patterns over the last year, and they all seem wild, extreme. What was driving that?” asked anchor Rebecca Jarvis.
“Well, when you look outside you say, ‘The weather’s on steroids,’” Kaku said. “But there’s no single aha moment where you can say, ‘Aha, this is what’s driving the whole thing.’ But what you can say is that the Earth is heating up. Which means more moisture going into Read more…
Luke 12:56 (KJV) Ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky and of the earth; but how is it that ye do not discern this time?
MATTHEW 24-8 (KJV) All these are the beginning of sorrows.
Repent of your sins and come to Christ, the Kingdom of God is near!!!
The global average temperature in 2011 was 14.52 degrees Celsius (58.14 degrees Fahrenheit). According to NASA scientists, this was the ninth warmest year in 132 years of recordkeeping, despite the cooling influence of the La Niña atmospheric and oceanic circulation pattern and relatively low solar irradiance. Since the 1970s, each subsequent decade has gotten hotter — and 9 of the 10 hottest years on record have occurred in the twenty-first century.
Each year’s average temperature is determined by a number of factors, including solar activity and the status of the El Niño/La Niña phenomenon. But heat-trapping gases that have accumulated in the atmosphere, largely from the burning of fossil fuels, have become a dominant force, pushing the Earth’s climate out of its normal range. The planet is now close to 0.8 degrees Celsius warmer than it was a century ago. Hidden within Read more…
By Karen Brooks
AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – A massive wildfire east of the Texas state capital of Austin has destroyed 476 homes since Sunday and is still burning out of control, state officials said on Monday.
“I’m still seeing no containment,” said April Saginor, public information officer for the Texas Forest Service, who confirmed that the Bastrop County Complex Fire has scorched more than 25,000 acres and burned 476 residences so far.
“That’s a record in Texas for a single fire,” she said of the homes destroyed.
The Bastrop fire is one of more than sixty fires which have kindled across Texas since Sunday afternoon, fueled by the gusty winds generated as Tropical Storm Lee pushed by Read more…
Winds fuel flare-ups in Palo Pinto County, across state
Strong north winds fueled wildfire flare-ups around Possum Kingdom Lake on Sunday and firefighters managed to contain most of them, but the rest of Texas wasn’t as lucky as thousands of acres and hundreds of homes burned in another day of the worst wildfire season in the state’s history.
A wildfire estimated to be 16 miles long near the Austin suburb of Bastrop charred about 14,000 acres Sunday, destroying or damaging an estimated 300 homes.
“It’s catastrophic,” Mark Stanford, fire chief of the Texas Forest Service, said Sunday. “It’s a major natural disaster.”
More than 40 new wildfires were reported to the Texas Forest Service on Sunday as strong winds, low humidity and very dry vegetation left firefighters scrambling to extinguish blazes throughout the state.
“We’re very stretched right now,” Tom Berglund of the Texas Forest Service said Sunday.
As of Sunday afternoon, firefighters Read more…
Floods covered at least 14,390 square miles (37,280 square km) of Pakistan between July 28 and September 16, 2010. For more information about this image, please visit this NASA Earth Observatory page Credit: NASA/Earth Observatory GREENBELT, Md. — Two of the most destructive natural disasters of 2010 were closely linked by a single meteorological event, even though they occurred 1,500 miles (2,414 km) apart and were of completely different natures, a new NASA study suggests.
The research finds that the same large-scale meteorological event — an abnormal Rossby wave — sparked extreme heat and persistent wildfires in Russia as well as unusual downstream wind patterns that shifted rainfall in the Indian monsoon region and fueled heavy flooding in Pakistan. Although the heat wave started before the floods, both events attained maximum strength at approximately the same time, the researchers found Read more…