Sunday, December 17, 2017

California fires caused by global warming?

Is climate change responsible for the massive 2017 wildfires in California? Some point the finger at it. And although I am a believer that global warming is caused by humans and the burn of fossile fuels I don't think there is enough conclusive evedence to support this.

Wikipedia states 250 fires were burning 245,000 acres (990 km), and causing more than $9.4 billion dollars in damage in October 2017 alone. 10 of the worst wildfires occurred in the past 14 years since recording. And California is not alone. It has also been a particular bad year for British Columbia.

Contra global warming is La NiƱa, which is currently weak, causing cooling. Then strong Santa Ana winds (not caused by global warming) helping the fire. Then there is a pretty cold East Coast, bulging the Jet Stream, contributing to conditions for wildfires. This appears also to not caused by climate change.

Pros are the drought over the western USA, which is believed by many to be caused by global warming. And the delay of the onset of the usual rain in fall, worsening the drought.

I suppose only time will tell if global warming is the culprit. To see how this develops in the future. And if fires get worse, if pros or cons for global warming indicate if climate change is to blame, or non related patterns emerge supporting the one or other.

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