[Vision2020] U of I Professor Abatzoglou in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Ted Moffett starbliss at gmail.com
Wed Oct 12 18:26:37 PDT 2016

*Tues. 10-11-16 Lewiston Tribune featured as the front page headline
article information about this PNAS paper.  The PNAS abstract is lower


Study: Forest fires flourishing from human-caused climate change Wild land
burned in West nearly doubled from 1979

   - By ERIC BARKER of the Tribune
   - Updated Oct 11, 2016

Human-caused climate change has dramatically increased the scope of
wildfires over the past three decades by increasing the degree to which
Western forests dry during summer months.

According to a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy
of Sciences on Monday, human-caused climate change has almost doubled the
amount of forest land burned in the West since 1979, accounting for an
additional 16,000 square miles or more than 10.2 million acres.


Impact of anthropogenic climate change on wildfire across western US forests

   1. John T. Abatzoglou
   2. A. Park Williams


   Increased forest fire activity across the western United States in
   recent decades has contributed to widespread forest mortality, carbon
   emissions, periods of degraded air quality, and substantial fire
   suppression expenditures. Although numerous factors aided the recent rise
   in fire activity, observed warming and drying have significantly increased
   fire-season fuel aridity, fostering a more favorable fire environment
   across forested systems. We demonstrate that human-caused climate change
   caused over half of the documented increases in fuel aridity since the
   1970s and doubled the cumulative forest fire area since 1984. This analysis
   suggests that anthropogenic climate change will continue to chronically
   enhance the potential for western US forest fire activity while fuels are
   not limiting.


Vision2020 Post: Ted Moffett
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