"Pondering a Link Between Forest Fires and Climate Change"

"This last week, record temperatures and wildfires have scorched the western United States. The National Climate Data Center reports that 41 heat records (at various of 6,027 weather stations around the country) have been broken or tied since Sunday, mostly in Colorado, Kansas and Nebraska, which is quite unusual for this time of year."

"Scientists participating in a conference call arranged by the nonprofit science outreach group Climate Communication Thursday morning said that although they could not directly link this week's events to global warming, there was agreement that they fit into a pattern of extreme weather events and catastrophic fires that climate scientists predict will only worsen in the decades to come.

'What we're seeing is a window into what global warming really looks like,' said Michael Oppenheimer, a geoscientist at Princeton University. 'It looks like heat. It looks like fires. It looks like this type of environmental disaster.'"

Kate Yandell reports for the New York Times' Green blog June 28, 2012.


"West's Wildfires a Preview of Changed Climate: Scientists" (Reuters)

"What's Happening With the Colorado Wildfires Explained" (Mother Jones)

"Heat Wave 2012: U.S. Bakes As High Temperatures Hit Early" (AP)

"1 Dead, Estimated 346 Homes Burned in Colorado Fire" (AP)

"Massive 'Debilitating' Heat Wave Expands Eastward" (Climate Central)

"'War Room' Type Effort Places Firefighting Assets" (AP)

"Colorado Blaze: Most Destructive in History" (AP)

Source: Green/NYT, 06/29/2012