Climate Change Caused Wildfires
Warmer temperatures leave states susceptible to record fires
By Neal Colgrass, Newser Staff
Posted Jul 2, 2012 6:33 PM CDT
This Sunday, July 1, 2012, photo, shows burned landscape near the Mountain Shadows area near Colorado Springs, Colo.   (AP Photo/The Colorado Springs Gazette, Susannah Kay)

(Newser) – Officially, lightning and suspected arson caused Colorado's record wildfires—but scientists say the real culprit is climate change. The science is simple: Warmer temperatures diminish winter snow and kill off spring rain, leaving state land a parched tinder box ready to go up in flames. And Colorado is not alone: “We’ve had record fires in 10 states in the last decade, most of them in the West,” says US agriculture official Harris Sherman.

Colorado climate scientists didn't predict these historic fires, but years ago they did warn of hot and dry weather, early springs, and more droughts, the Washington Post reports. Adding to the state's woes are climate beetles that breed faster due to warmer winters; they munch on trees, leaving acres of possible firewood. What's more, Colorado—like neighboring New Mexico—has far too many homes in fire-risk zones. “It’s not a matter of if they burn, but when,” says one expert.

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Showing 3 of 36 comments
irisht58
Jul 3, 2012 11:40 AM CDT
Before radical environmentalists blocked managed forest sales ... the forests were managed in such a way as to promote a healthy forest and manage fire risk. The beetles in South Dakota's Black Hills have taken over ... creating more fuel for fires ... again RADICAL environmentalists blocked the ability to go in and clean up the bug trees before they could spread further.
BCS
Jul 3, 2012 9:33 AM CDT
This is as pathetically reactive as Fox news was for claiming that a few snow storms meant the globe was cooling. It's a localized heat wave, There are plenty of places on the globe currently experiencing below average temps. The main development region of the tropical Atlantic currently has sea surface temps below normal, the water off Bermuda's cost is currently in the 70's. Only someone with an agenda could be such an alarmist!
winterfairy
Jul 3, 2012 7:30 AM CDT
It's pretty impressive the lengths the Obama administration is taking to cover up the fact these are terrorist attacks by al-Qaeda