After record-breaking heatwave in July, and its driest year to date, California is currently suffering through the 14th largest wildfire in the US state’s history.
The huge fire is burning in and around California’s Yosemite National Park – an area covering almost 600 sq km – and is threatening some of the region’s iconic giant sequoia trees, as well as thousands of homes, while also raining ash on a key reservoir that supplies water and hydro-electric power to San Francisco.
BBC news reports that two of three hydroelectric power stations serving San Francisco were shut down, forcing the city’s Public Utilities Commission to spend $US600,000 buying power on the open market.
Scientists like Anthony Westerling, who studies how climate change effects wildfires at the University of California, say that the changing climate is leading to more frequent instances of “extreme fire conditions” such as we are seeing in California now.
Conveniently, Climate Desk has posted a 90-second video of Matthew Hurteau, an Assistant Professor in ecosystem science and management at Pennsylvania State University, explaining exactly this. And here it is! Explained in 90 Seconds: How Climate Change Fuels Wildfires…