I’m sure we all saw pictures of that blood-red sky this past summer. For many across the country, the image seemed almost unfathomable, like a scene out of a sci-fi movie. For others, it was far too real.
California’s wildfires have become a grave remainder of the effects of climate change.
The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions explains that warmer temperatures and drier conditions characteristic of global warming help fires spread and make them harder to put out.
Of course, these types of wildfires are nothing new for the West Coast. California’s wildfires date back to 1932. They are so common that residents have an established fire season.
However, the fires of this past year have been the worst ever. In September, the August Complex fire burned down over one million acres in Northern California. This was the largest fire in the state’s history.
Overall, 2020 has seen an unbelievable total of over 4 million acres of damage. These wildfires have had an enormous impact on California’s residents as well.
More than thirty people have died. Hundred of thousands of people have had to evacuate their homes or survive without power. 10,500 structures have
gone down around the state, leaving many towns without crucial infrastructure.
As we move forward into the new year, we must think deeply about our effect on the environment. It would be great if we could keep our way of life and have everything go away. Unfortunately, these fires are only getting larger and more intense.
Until next time, keep on that STEM journey.