Scientist says global warming contributing to more forest fires by Mitch E. Perry08/10/06
Australian firefighters are being sent to the United States to help fight up to 40 wildfires burning out of control in five states.
The US is experiencing one of its worst fire seasons on record, with 2.35 million hectares already scorched by flames and nearly 40 large blazes now burning out of control
According to new research by scientists with the Scripps Institute of Oceanography and the University of Arizona, global warming is partly responsible for an increase in numbers of large wildfires across the western U.S. since the late 1980â€™s.
The findings, published last month in the journal â€œScienceâ€?, point to climate change, not fire suppression policies and forest accumulation, as the primary driver of recent increases in large forest fires. Researchers linked rising seasonal temperatures and the earlier arrival of spring conditions with the increase in wildfire activity.
Dr. Brenda Ekwurzel works on the National Climate Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists, and leads that groups climate science education work aimed at strengthening support for strong federal climate legislation and sound U.S. climate policies. (roll tape#1 o.q.â€?in direct response to Global warmingâ€?)
Thatâ€™s Dr. Brenda Ekwurzel, she works on the National Climate Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists, talking about wildfires in America, and global warmingâ€™s contribution to those fires.