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Why This Matters: Although the 2021 wildfire season has been less intense than 2020’s, this year saw some of the largest fires in the nation’s history, including July’s Dixie fire, which is still burning and not expected to reach full containment until the end of October. Experts say that intense fire seasons are becoming the new normal; more than half of California’s 20 largest wildfires have burned in just the last four years. What’s more — wildfire season is starting earlier and ending later each year. Neil Lareau, an atmospheric scientist and professor at the University of Nevada, finds climate change to be the primary culprit, stating: “It’s lengthening fire season. It’s giving us more days that are burning at a higher intensity. And the result of that is massive fires. They’re more intense, and they’re producing more extreme fire weather.”
Additionally, in a news release issued by the Air Pollution Control District of Santa Barbara County, residents are urged to stay indoors, stay hydrated, and avoid driving. “This is a dynamic situation, and local air quality conditions can change quickly.”
Mega-storms caused by atmospheric rivers were once thought to be once-in-a-millennia occurrences, but atmospheric rivers are flooding California more frequently due to the warming atmosphere. The latest mega-storm may put a dent in the mega-drought, but experts say California may be trapped in a vicious wet/dry cycle. It may not be time for Californians to build an ark just yet, but climate-resilient infrastructure would […]
By Natasha Lasky, ODP Staff Writer After a record-breaking drought, much of the West and Southwest has been hoping for a winter of rain. But with scientists predicting a second consecutive winter with La Niña conditions, the dry spell may be prolonged. La Niña is a climate pattern that tends to produce droughts in the […]
By Amy Lupica, ODP Daily Editor According to a report by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), there have been 18 billion-dollar weather disasters in 2021, surpassing 2020’s disaster costs with almost three months still left until 2022. Experts say that weather events across the spectrum, including wildfires, hurricanes, and severe weather, are not […]
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