Scientists Say Climate Change Is Worsening US Wildfires

President Trump had dismissed climate change concerns earlier this week.

Sohil Nikam

September 18, 2020

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1 min

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As record-breaking fires burn across the western US, President Donald Trump is sceptical that climate change is a factor. On Monday, in a meeting with California officials, he had said, “It will start getting cooler. You just watch” when asked about climate change. When an official said, “I wish science agreed with you,” he had replied, “I don’t think science knows.” Yet science has been sounding the alarm since a very long time, according to the University of California, Merced wildfire expert LeRoy Westerling.

Wildfires need dry plants to burn and climate change is increasing the supply. Studies say the west has warmed over the last century and warmer air dries things faster. That means, even a normal year will be drier. But these have not been normal years, says Westerling, “We had a drought for five years, earlier in the 21st century here, that was unprecedented in probably thousand to twelve hundred years.” And warmer weather is melting the west’s water reserves in the mountains as well.

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