As global warming continues, one of its effects is climate change. The change in climate can affect many people and can bring about different effects. One of these effects is that it can bring about forest fires in regions especially prone to it as it experiences dry weather.
A study has been made by the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University, and it says that global warming has contributed much to the forest fires that have been happening, according to EcoWatch.
"No matter how hard we try, the fires are going to keep getting bigger and the reason is really clear," said Park Williams, co-author of the study and a bioclimatologist at the NASA Earth Observatory. He also warned that people should prepare for bigger forest fires that would come.
Much of this is caused by temperatures increasing by 1.5 degrees Celsius in the forests of the Western United States. This has caused an arid and dry state, which would be the ideal situation for a forest fire. The area affected is said to be 16,000 square miles or larger than the states of Massachusetts and Connecticut combined.
As the temperature increases, the air around it becomes dry as well. Plants and trees have experienced dryness along with this, as reported by the States Chronicle. Combined with the increased temperature, forest fires would become more frequent and much bigger because the conditions are suited for it.
Another factor that contributes to the dry condition is how firefighting is done. When fires are put out, what is left behind are charred remains, which ironically become fuel for even larger fires.
Other factors have not been accounted for in the increase in forest fires, as the researchers admit. These factors include insects such as beetles that prefer warm weather and eat through vegetation and trees. Another factor would be lightning, which could start forest fires.
Long-term effects of fires have also been studied, such as smoke that can affect the health of people, as a 2012 study has shown. The lLead author of the study is John Abatzoglou, professor of Geography at the University of Idaho. The study has said that continued global warming will increase forest fires in the coming decades.
Climate change has more effects, such as more storm surges being seen on the East Coast, as previously reported in iTechPost.