Friday, July 1, 2016

Graphic of the Day - Western Wildfire Changes

Recently I found these two informative and accurate graphs on Twitter. Both address a particular aspect of changes in wildfire in the west. These changes are largely due to climate change. My climate change skeptic friends will argue that mismanagement of forests by way of removing natural fire from the natural environment for the better part of the 20th century is the cause of more severe wildfires. While that is a factor, it only applies to forest ecosystems, but is not a factor so much in the chaparral and grasslands where fire patterns are also changing. Others will try to argue that the preponderance of interface zones, particularly in the Western U.S. are to blame for increasing property losses. That, too, is a factor, but also only partly accounts for the problem as property losses are but one measure of a fire's potency while not being a factor in fire frequency and fire ferocity, which are more to the point of these two graphs.

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