Climate Change Not the Sole Blame for Increase in Wildfires

The "new normal" of a year-round fire season in California may spark fears that climate change may be responsible for the increase in the deadly and dangerous outbreaks but records show that big blazes are on the decline. 

A September 2017 journal Science report found that global burned area dropped by about 25 percent over the previous 18 years.

It turns out more often than not, humans are directly responsible for most fires but because of a number of factors including;  burning of trash and debris, arson, heavy equipment, campfires, children, and smokers.

Many recent articles published after the occurrence of such huge fires in Northern California and Greece have stated "human-caused global warming is increasing the severity and frequency of wildfires by fueling drought and higher temperatures."

University of Washington atmospheric sciences professor Clifford Mass said a host of factors may have contributed to this year’s California wildfires, 

“So there is a lot of talk of climate change ‘supercharging’ fires, but really no proof of it,” Mr. Mass said in an email. “And some fires are clearly NOT associated with climate change, like the wine country fires of last October.” 

“I suspect climate change is a minor element in the CA wildfires, while fire suppression and human population growth into the wildlands are the dominant elements.”

Photo: Getty Images

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