Record-Breaking Wildfires in Colorado Show Climate Chang is Already Here
Call your lawmakers now and tell them to protect the environment!
CBS News Reports: Colorado's record-breaking wildfires show "climate change is here and now"
Colorado is currently engulfed in flames, as over 200,000 acres in Cameron Peak are on fire. The Cameron Peak fire is the second fire in 2020 to hold the title of the largest wildfire in Colorado history. The first was the Pine Gulch fire that previously held the title.
Looking at this in a vacuum, you might think of it as a mere coincidence. But zooming out, you need only look two states away in California to find evidence of more unprecedented fires. Six of the 7 largest wildfires in California history have all burned in 2020, and the largest, the August Complex fire, became the state's first-ever gigafire — meaning it burned over 1 million acres, scorching more acreage than the state of Rhode Island.
It's now more clear than ever that the impacts of climate change are already here.
In a letter the editor published in the journal Global Change Biology, two of the world's foremost experts on wildfires conclude that the "[r]ecord-setting climate enabled the extraordinary 2020 fire season in the western United States."
In the 2010s, Colorado saw a tripling of average burned area in the month of October, compared to the prior three decades of the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s.
"We do see fall fire events in Colorado, related to fast, downslope winds. But to see multiple events start this late, in the middle of October, is very, very rare."
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