Explainers: Western Fires and Climate

Climate Denial Crock of the Week

Above, Jeff Berardelli, who is now a colleague through Yale Climate Connections, explains the connection between climate and fires. Worthwhile graphs and updates.

Below, another colleague, Dana Nuccitelli, lays out the case.

Dana Nuccitelli in Yale Climate Connections:

Within a two-week span in August, California saw:

– the “fire tornado” just north of Lake Tahoe
– 130 degrees Fahrenheit heat in Death Valley, which may be the hottest temperature ever reliably recorded on Earth
– a largely dry thunderstorm with 11,000 lightning strikes across California over 72 hours, igniting more than 300 wildfires, including two of the three largest ever recorded in the state (and still growing), creating the worst air quality in the world
– one million acres burned in California in 2020 with 4 months to go in fire season
– tens of thousands of people evacuated from their homes as the fires drew near

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