FIRE SCIENTISTS ARE CONFIDENT: THIS WILL GET WORSE

❝ As of July 31, more than 25,000 firefighters are committed to 140 wildfires across the United States—over a million acres aflame. Eight people are dead in California, tens of thousands evacuated, smoke and pyroclastic clouds are visible from space. And all any fire scientist knows for sure is, it only gets worse from here. How much worse? Where? For whom? Experience can’t tell them. The scientists actually are uncertain.

❝ Scientists who help policymakers plan for the future used to make an assumption. They called it stationarity, and the idea was that the extremes of environmental systems—rainfall, river levels, hurricane strength, wildfire damage—obeyed prior constraints. The past was prologue. Climate change has turned that assumption to ash…

❝ Wildfires were always part of a complex system. Climate change—carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases raising the overall temperature of the planet—added to the complexity. The implications of that will play out for millennia. “On top of that is interaction between the climate system, the ecosystem, and how we manage our land use,” Westerling says. “That intersection is very complex, and even more difficult to predict. When I say there’s no new normal, I mean it. The climate will be changing with probably an accelerating pace for the rest of the lives of everyone who is alive today.”

Fools who voted for Trump not only fooled themselves – they have condemned their children, grandchildren and generations to come to the new holocaust.

26 thoughts on “FIRE SCIENTISTS ARE CONFIDENT: THIS WILL GET WORSE

  1. McLeod says:

    The California Legislature voted Friday to allow power companies to raise electric bills to cover the cost of lawsuits from last year’s deadly wildfires amid fears that Pacific Gas & Electric Co., would otherwise face financial ruin. (PBS 8/1/18) https://www.pbs.org/newshour/nation/california-approves-measure-to-pass-on-wildfire-costs
    Study shows health, reaction-time declines in firefighters (A/P 9/1/18) https://apnews.com/498fcf4809634da49dd02a0e605e9c82/Study-shows-health,-reaction-time-declines-in-firefighters Some 19,000 firefighters are currently in the field fighting nearly 40 large wildfires. Fourteen firefighters have died this year as wildfires have scorched about 3,500 square miles (9,000 square kilometers) and destroyed some 3,000 homes.
    “California has 129 million dead trees spread across 8.9 million acres. That’s a huge wildfire risk but no one can afford to cut them all down.” https://www.vox.com/2018/9/1/17800358/california-mendocino-wildfire-dead-trees “…Already, more than 876,000 acres have burned in California, compared to 228,000 last year at the same time. The Mendocino Complex Fire, now almost fully contained at more than 459,000 acres, is the single largest fire on record in state history. The largest fire before that, the Thomas Fire, was just put out in January this year.
    These recent fires have barely made a dent in the glut of dead trees, CalFire says, and peak fire season in Southern California is still to come later this year.”

    • p/s says:

      “The Southern California Edison utility company says its electrical equipment is at least partly to blame for starting the deadly Thomas Fire last year that engulfed hundreds of thousands of acres as it swept through Ventura and Santa Barbara counties.” (NPR 10/31/18) https://www.npr.org/2018/10/31/662399218/southern-california-edison-says-it-is-partly-to-blame-for-thomas-fire “The company says it is cooperating with investigations being conducted by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, the Ventura County Fire Department and the California Public Utilities Commission’s Safety & Enforcement Division.
      These agencies have yet to release an official cause of the fire. The Los Angeles Times reports they hope to do so by the end of November.
      The Thomas Fire had been the largest in California’s modern history until it was superseded last summer by the even larger Mendocino Complex Fire. The Thomas Fire devastated more than 280,000 acres — or more than 430 square miles — of coastal foothills and forests.
      …the fire also led to deadly mudslides that killed at least 17.

      • Big Ernie says:

        Wildfire Today, November 12, 2018: “Pacific Gas & Electric disclosed to the Public Utilities Commission that one of their high voltage power lines had a disruption in service on Pulga Road near the Camp Fire at 6:15 a.m. the day it started, November 8. The fire was reported at 6:29 a.m. In the following days the stock price plunged 33 percent.” https://wildfiretoday.com/2018/11/12/fire-officials-release-list-of-structures-burned-in-camp-fire/
        NYT: “Trump’s Misleading Claims About California’s Fire ‘Mismanagement’ : On Twitter, the president claimed that the state’s wildfire woes are a result of poor forest management. The truth is more complicated.” https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/12/us/politics/fact-check-trump-california-fire-tweet.html
        NPR: “California Gov. Jerry Brown, who has asked the White House for a “major disaster declaration,” hit back at the president on Sunday during a news conference. He said forest management is only one element of preventing forest fires.
        “Managing all the forests in every way we can does not stop climate change and those who deny that are definitely contributing to the tragedies that we are now witnessing and will continue to witness,” Brown said.” https://www.npr.org/2018/11/12/666951838/megafires-more-frequent-because-of-climate-change-and-forest-management

        • Actuary says:

          “Trading in PG&E Corp. was briefly halted Monday after shares dropped more than 37 percent. The stock has fallen as much as 48 percent in two days of trading since the ignition of the fire, which has now destroyed more than 7,000 structures and killed at least 42 people.” (San Francisco Chronicle 11/12/18) https://www.sfchronicle.com/california-wildfires/article/PG-E-stock-hammered-on-wildfire-fallout-13384830.php PG&E was Monday’s worst-performing stock on the S&P 500 Index. “PG&E could face as much as $5 billion in liabilities from the Camp Fire …as of Monday morning, the Camp Fire’s perimeter encompassed 11,421 homes with a total worth of nearly $3 billion – not including commercial structures, of which 260 have been destroyed, according to state fire officials. Reportedly the destruction already tallied reflects “severe wildfire-related credit risks” for PG&E and its parent company and the Camp Fire has also exposed shortcomings in recently enacted state legislation, SB901, which was designed to lessen the utility’s risks associated with last year’s fires but offers no protection for potential liabilities from fires this year. Any liability associated with the Camp Fire would come on top of last year’s deadly fires that could cost as much as $17.3 billion, according to a JPMorgan Chase & Co. estimate. State investigators have already determined PG&E equipment caused at least 16 California wildfires last year. But the utility is still awaiting a state report on the cause of the Tubbs Fire, the deadliest and most destructive of the 2017 Wine Country wildfires. That fire destroyed more than 5,600 structures as it leveled entire neighborhoods in and around Santa Rosa and was until last week California’s most destructive wildfire as measured by loss of buildings.”
          [the financial value of the human lives that were lost in these fires remain to be determined].

    • 2Big2Fail says:

      “Protesters Demand an End to Bailouts for California Company That May Have Caused Wildfires” https://splinternews.com/protesters-demand-an-end-to-bailouts-for-california-com-1830759606 Protesters took over a California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) meeting on power company PG&E’s safety culture Thursday morning, responding to the company’s possible role in starting the Camp Fire, SF Weekly reports. The hearing was part of a three year investigation into PG&E’s safety practices by the CPUC.

  2. Cassandra says:

    Ecosystems across the world will dramatically transform as climate change’s effects increase, a new study published in the journal Science warns. https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/arizona-environment/2018/09/01/climate-change-could-transform-arizona-forests-deserts-environment-study/1148294002/ The study says human-caused climate change could accelerate changes in vegetation around the globe, filling lush forests with flammable brush and worsening drought conditions where relief is needed most.
    “We’re talking about the same amount of change in 10-to-20 thousand years that’s going to be crammed into a century or two,” Stephen T. Jackson, director of the U.S. Geological Survey’s Southwest Climate Adaptation Center and co-author of the new study, said in a statement. “Ecosystems are going to be scrambling to catch up.”
    (Includes link to “Past and future global transformation of terrestrial ecosystems under climate change” in Science 31 Aug 2018)

  3. Worser says:

    “Raging wildfires send scientists scrambling to study health effects : Blazes have created natural experiments in Montana and California towns and a monkey-breeding colony.” (Nature 9/7/18) https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-018-06123-8 “Record-setting wildfires have burnt through northern California over the past month, blanketing huge swathes of the western United States in a smoky haze and destroying an area larger than London. Now scientists are hoping that the fiery summer will help them determine whether exposure to wildfire smoke damages health over the long term.
    Finding answers is becoming more urgent because the behavior of wildfires — in the United States and elsewhere — is expected to shift in the coming decades. Climate models predict that many more people worldwide will be exposed to toxic smoke as these blazes become more common and intense. US wildfires already produce about one-third of the country’s particulate-matter pollution, airborne particles that are small enough to enter and damage human lung tissue.
    …Researchers are also beginning to untangle how the composition of material burnt during a wildfire affects the body. Smoke from burning pine needles damaged the DNA of mice in a recent EPA study more than smoke from burning plastic did; burning eucalyptus was the most toxic to immune cells found in the animals’ lungs.”

  4. Hazel Hoe says:

    “Interstate 5, one of the country’s busiest roadways, stretching nearly 1,400 miles from Mexico to Canada, will remain closed indefinitely for a 45-mile stretch through fire-ravaged northern California.” https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2018/09/09/delta-fire-interstate-5-indefinitely-closed-northern-california/1252616002/ “The raging Delta Fire, which chased motorists from their vehicles and left a trail of burned-out vehicles in its wake last week, forcing state authorities to close I-5 on Wednesday afternoon, continued to burn mostly out of control on Sunday in Shasta and Trinity counties. It had burned 40,903 acres, according to InciWeb’s 7 p.m. PST update, and was listed at 5 percent containment.”

    • Hey, Rube! says:

      “As California’s Wildfires Raged, The Ultra-Rich Hired Private Firefighters : Kim Kardashian and Kanye West were among those able to save their homes. But whether or not your home burns down shouldn’t depend on wealth.” https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/california-wildfires-neoliberalism-climate-change_us_5bec0d2ce4b0caeec2c012a0 Under capitalism, wealth has always been a determining factor for life outcomes. “The wealthiest among us have access to better hospitals, better schools, better grocery stores ― the list could go on for quite some time. Despite our societal penchant for privatized services only available at a premium, though, there are certain realms that remain strictly removed from market forces. Or at least, we thought they were.”

  5. Déjà Vu says:

    BBC News (11/9/18): California wildfires: Five dead and more than 150,000 evacuated https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-46155767 Fast-moving wildfires prompted tens of thousands of evacuations in both Northern and Southern California, including the entire beachside city of Malibu, sending residents fleeing for their lives on short notice.
    The largest inferno, sparked Thursday morning in Northern California, prompted numerous evacuations, including several entire towns. By late Thursday, it became apparent that the entire town of Paradise, a town of 27,000 people north of Sacramento, had been entirely destroyed by the Camp fire. https://weather.com/news/news/2018-11-09-california-wildfire-camp-fire-impacts/
    A NASA photo of Northern California this morning – the town of Paradise is located in the black center https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DrlMJH-V4AAf5oj.jpg

    • McLeod says:

      Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump 12:08 AM – 10 Nov 2018:
      “There is no reason for these massive, deadly and costly forest fires in California except that forest management is so poor. Billions of dollars are given each year, with so many lives lost, all because of gross mismanagement of the forests. Remedy now, or no more Fed payments!”

      • 1 Corinthians 3:13 says:

        “The Day the Great Plains Burned : Alerts had been going out for weeks that conditions in Oklahoma, Kansas, and Texas were perfect for wildfires. On March 6, 2017, the prairie went up in flames. (The New Yorker Nov 5, 2018 issue) https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2018/11/05/the-day-the-great-plains-burned “A megafire is considered to be one that burns more than a hundred thousand acres. In Oklahoma, the total burned in the March 6th fires was seven hundred and eighty-one thousand acres. In the Texas Panhandle, fires burned four hundred and eighty-two thousand acres. Seven people are thought to have died in the March 6th fires. The expanse of burned land on the south-central Great Plains amounted to almost two million acres—roughly three thousand square miles. Rhode Island, that useful state for comparing geographic measure, covers about a thousand square miles of land. The March 6th fires burned an area about the size of three Rhode Islands.
        When the prairie is tinder-dry and winds blow at fifty-plus miles an hour, conditions are perfect for wildfires.
        Extreme weather has always occurred on the plains. What is new, and derives from climate change, is that the atmosphere has become hotter and wetter, bringing more rain, causing wetter years (2016, for example), which produce more fuel in the form of grass. As the atmosphere warms, it is also thirstier, so that when dry periods come the air sucks more moisture from the soil and the plants and makes the land more susceptible to fire.

      • WRONG says:

        “President Trump’s visit Saturday to the fire-ravaged California town of Paradise seemed to be going fine, until he began explaining his understanding of forest policy. Apparently, California needs to buy more rakes.
        “You gotta take care of the floors. You know the floors of the forest, very important,” Trump told reporters, as Gov. Jerry Brown and Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom stood nearby. “You look at other countries where they do it differently and it’s a whole different story. I was with the president of Finland and he called it a forest nation, and they spend a lot of time on raking and cleaning and doing things and they don’t have any problem. And when they do, it’s a very small problem.”
        Trump appeared to be talking about the need to thin forests that are overgrown from decades of fire suppression, something that Brown accelerated this fall when he signed a law approving $1 billion in state money over the next five years for forest thinning projects and controlled burns. Trump did not mention the role of drought or climate change in drying out the state’s forests, or power lines. Or the fact that many of the fires, particularly in Southern California, aren’t burning in forests at all, but in chaparral, or that fact that this one began in an area of federal land, the Plumas National Forest.
        His communications staff immediately cut off further questions.”
        San Jose Mercury News https://www.mercurynews.com/2018/11/17/trump-mocked-online-for-telling-california-to-rake-its-forests-like-finland-to-reduce-fire-risk/
        USFS firefighting mules: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=3&v=ww7wK2YSOHw

  6. Cassandra says:

    “The Terrifying Science Behind California’s Massive Camp Fire : It used to be that fires destroyed exurbs or scattered enclaves. Now they plow through cities.” (WIRED 11/9/18) https://www.wired.com/story/the-terrifying-science-behind-californias-massive-camp-fire/
    This is what a climate change reckoning looks like. “All of it is embedded in the background trend of things getting warmer,” Lareau [Neil Lareau, an atmospheric scientist at the University of Nevada, Reno] says. “The atmosphere as it gets warmer is thirstier.” Like a giant atmospheric mosquito, climate change is sucking California dry.
    The consequence is fires of unprecedented, almost unimaginable scale. California cities are no longer safe from fire, and with climate change, things are only bound to get worse from here. Consider that seven of the 20 most destructive fires in state history have burned just in the last year.”

  7. Now will be then later says:

    “California Wildfires Are A Bigger Public Health Nightmare Than Anyone Imagined : The flames and smoke from the Camp fire ripping through Northern California ― a record-breaking catastrophe that has claimed at least 63 lives with more than 600 people still missing ― is the public health crisis that climate change researchers have been warning about.” https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/california-wildfires-public-health_us_5bef0747e4b0f7192ca93d1c

  8. Clean sweep says:

    “Secretary Zinke issues misleading information about wildfire risk : incorrectly said a beetle infestation leads to an added risk for fire” https://wildfiretoday.com/2018/11/21/secretary-zinke-issues-misleading-information-about-wildfire-risk/
    “In 2015 University of Colorado Boulder researcher Sarah Hart determined Western U.S. forests killed by the mountain pine beetle epidemic are no more at risk to burn than healthy Western forests. Other scientists have found similar results.”
    See “Effects of bark beetle-caused tree mortality on wildfire” https://www.fs.fed.us/pnw/pubs/journals/pnw_2012_hicke001.pdf
    In addition, the “dead and dying timber” as a result of fires or insects that Mr. Zinke wants to remove is an integral part of the forest ecosystem. The National Wildlife Federation says, “Dead trees provide vital habitat for more than 1,000 species of wildlife nationwide. They also count as cover and places for wildlife to raise young.” https://www.nwf.org/en/Garden-for-Wildlife/Cover/Trees-and-Snags
    An article at The Hill November 20 covers how Mr. Zinke and Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue are hoping that the new version of the Farm Bill will allow more logging that among other objectives, “beautifies the forests”, as Mr. Zinke is quoted as saying. https://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/417663-trump-officials-cite-california-fires-in-renewing-call-for-forest

  9. Fallout says:

    “California’s deadliest wildfire is blamed in lawsuit on faulty utility transmission tower : A lawsuit claims the Camp Fire, which killed at least 88 people, was started by a faulty transmission tower that brought dangerous live wires crashing down.” https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/california-s-deadliest-wildfire-blamed-lawsuit-faulty-utility-transmission-tower-n944811
    “Insurance company overwhelmed by cost of California wildfire, goes out of business : It was facing $64 million in fire-related claims.” https://thinkprogress.org/cost-of-california-wildfire-has-caused-an-insurance-company-to-go-out-of-business-47af82955e80/ Individuals who need to file claims due to the fire shouldn’t be affected though — the California Insurance Guarantee Association (CIGA) will assume any outstanding claims. The CIGA was created by state law to protect policy holders in such a situation. However, there may be a limit to the amount a policyholder is able to claim. (see https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displayText.xhtml?lawCode=INS&division=1.&title=&part=2.&chapter=1.&article=14.2. )

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.