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Articles on Wildfires

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The fire risk goes beyond rising temperatures and dry conditions. Samuel Corum / AFP via Getty Images

Western wildfires destroyed 246% more homes and buildings over the past decade – fire scientists explain what’s changing

More homes are burning in wildfires in nearly every Western state. The reason? Humans.
Homes that survived the Marshall Fire didn’t come through unscathed. Matthew Jonas/MediaNews Group/Boulder Daily Camera via Getty Images

Homes that survived the Marshall Fire 1 year ago harbored another disaster inside – here’s what we’ve learned about this insidious urban wildfire risk

Noxious smells and blowing ash initially made the homes unlivable. But even after their homes were cleaned, some residents still reported health effects months later.
Donkeys allow herders to travel further in the rocky terrain of southern Tunisia. Linda Pappagallo/Pastres

How pastoral farming can help to avoid a biodiversity crisis

Pastoral communities should be included in conservation initiatives – but the ecology of pastoral lands has long been misunderstood.
AP Photo/Edmar Barros

Many forests will become highly flammable for at least 30 extra days per year unless we cut emissions, research finds

Climate change is raising the number of days the Earth passes crucial thresholds of fire risk. But urgently cutting emissions can avoid the worst.
Thick smoke fills the air and nearly blocks out the sun, east of Kamloops, B.C., on Aug. 14, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Wildfire smoke may warm the Earth for longer than we thought

Brown carbon refers to a range of pollutants found in smoke from wildfires. They can contribute to global warming before they undergo a process that alters their chemical properties.
The potential role of beavers in safeguarding against climate change risks has become an interesting point of discussion. RudiErnst/Shutterstock

Beavers can do wonders for nature – but we should be realistic about these benefits extending to people

The role of beavers in safeguarding against our heating climate has become an interesting point of discussion. But just how important remains subject to debate.
Bad air pollution and extreme heat each raise health risks, but they’re worse combined. Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Extreme heat + air pollution can be deadly, with the health risk together worse than either alone

The worst effects are during high nighttime temperatures, something happening more often with climate change. Wildfires add to the risk.
Indonesian fire fighters extinguish a fire in a land next to residence in Pekanbaru, Riau province on September 13, 2019. The blazes spread smog across Southeast Asia and adding to concerns about the impact on global warming. Adek Berry/AFP

New research reveals that wildfires can influence El Niño

Wildfires are intensifying, yet they’re one of the most poorly understood phenomena on Earth. New research shows that they can disturb both regional and global climate.
Repairing storm damage is expensive, and insurance covers less than many people realize. Sean Rayford/Getty Images

Flood risk ratings: Translating risk to future costs helps homebuyers and renters grasp the odds

Telling people they have a flood risk rating of 10 is less powerful than explaining how much they’re likely to pay to deal with flooding over the next five years.

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