Yosemite Rim Fire is taste of things to come – 28 August 2013 – New Scientist

Yosemite Rim Fire is taste of things to come

Here you can read about how huge devastating fires are becoming more common and how Global Warming will lead to more of this kind.

28 August 2013

SAN FRANCISCO is in a state of emergency, its power and water supplies threatened by one of the largest Californian wildfires on record – just 250 kilometres to the east of the city, on the fringes of Yosemite National Park. It is a grim warning of profound changes that may lie ahead. Wildfires have always been a part of life in the US west, but activity is on the rise as climate change takes hold. In Californias Sierra Nevada mountains, the main problem is the earlier onset of spring. “The snow melts earlier, especially at lower elevations,” says Michael Wehner of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. That gives forests longer to dry out, producing tinderbox conditions by late August. As New Scientist went to press, the Rim Fire had torched over 700 square kilometres and was approaching the Hetch Hetchy reservoir, which provides San Francisco with most of its water and generates hydroelectric power for the citys General Hospital, transit system and airport. It serves as a warning that wildfires can have effects far beyond the area they burn.

via Yosemite Rim Fire is taste of things to come – 28 August 2013 – New Scientist.

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