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Articles on Wildfires

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A cabin is illuminated by firetruck lights as the Caldor Fire burns near Lake Tahoe in California on Aug. 31, 2021. Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

A new ratings industry is emerging to help homebuyers assess climate risks

Private companies rate all kinds of investments, from stocks to used cars. Now, they’re starting to analyze climate risks to local real estate – but how reliable are their findings?
Wildfire smoke contains a mixture of toxic pollutants that can be harmful to both the lungs and the brain. Bloomberg Creative/ Bloomberg Creative Photos via Getty Images

Neurotoxins in the environment are damaging human brain health – and more frequent fires and floods may make the problem worse

Pollution from more frequent floods and wildfires – exacerbated by the warming climate – is threatening human health and poses particular risks to the brain.
Flooding is seen in the Manayunk section of Philadelphia after the remnants of Hurricane Ida, Sept. 2, 2021. AP Photo/Matt Rourke

Cities worldwide aren’t adapting to climate change quickly enough

More than half of the world’s population lives in cities, and that share is growing. Rapid climate change could make many cities unlivable in the coming decades without major investments to adapt.
Tools for a prescribed burn conducted in the Sierra Nevada in November 2019. Susan Kocher

Moving beyond America’s war on wildfire: 4 ways to avoid future megafires

Two forest researchers whose own communities were threatened by fires in 2021 explain how historic policies left forests at high risk of megafires.
Before satellites, fire crews watched for smoke from fire towers across the national forests. K. D. Swan, U.S. Forest Service

Big fires demand a big response: How 1910’s Big Burn can help us think smarter about fighting wildfires and living with fire

The US has learned that it cannot suppress its way to a healthy relationship with fire in the West. That strategy failed, even before climate change proved it to be no strategy at all.
Himawari-8

Smoke from the Black Summer fires created an algal bloom bigger than Australia in the Southern Ocean

This enormous, unprecedented algal bloom could have profound implications for carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere and for the marine ecosystem.
The words Government Arson are painted on a shipping container on a property that was destroyed by the White Rock Lake wildfire in August in British Columbia. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Climate action is at risk because of the snap federal election call

Canadians are faced with an unwanted election that’s placed climate progress at unnecessary risk.
Heat and dryness are leaving high mountain areas more vulnerable to forest fires. David McNew/Getty Images

Western fires are burning higher in the mountains and at unprecedented rates as the climate warms

As the risk of fires rises in areas once considered too wet to burn, it creates hazards for mountain communities and for downstream water supplies.
University of Oregon running back Travis Dye celebrates his touchdown against Fresno State in a stadium smokey from nearby wildfires. (AP Photo/Andy Nelson)

As U.S. football season kicks off, climate change threatens the game

It might be time to reschedule football season. With rising temperatures, poorer air quality and a worsening hurricane season, climate change threatens the future of the American sport.
Parts of Lake Elsinore, California, were overrun with muddy floodwater after a storm hit the Holy Fire burn scar in 2018. Jennifer Cappuccio Maher/Digital First Media/Inland Valley Daily Bulletin via Getty Images

Wildfire burn scars can intensify and even create thunderstorms that lead to catastrophic flooding – here’s how it works

An atmospheric scientist and sailplane pilot describes why large areas of burned land can produce clouds and rainstorms.

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