Tag: Wildfires

This Fire-Loving Fungus Eats Charcoal, if It Must

To confirm that the fungus was actually doing what it appeared to be doing, Dr. Whitman’s lab grew pine seedlings in an atmosphere with carbon dioxide containing carbon-13, an isotope whose unusual weight makes it easy to trace, and then put the trees in a specialized furnace to form charcoal, which was fed to the […]

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Everyone’s Moving to Texas. Here’s Why.

A Californian will feel right at home in Dallas even before touching the ground. Like the suburbs around Los Angeles, San Diego and across the Bay Area, Dallas and other Texas metros are built on the certainty of cars and infinite sprawl; from the air, as I landed, I could see the familiar landscape of […]

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Wildfires in California Killed Thousands of Giant Sequoias

Three wildfires in California in the past 15 months killed or mortally wounded thousands of mature giant sequoias, accounting for an estimated 13 to 19 percent of the world’s population of the majestic trees, officials said on Friday. A National Park Service report estimated that two fires in September, sparked by a lighting storm, caused […]

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Kruger Rock Fire in Colorado Kills One

A quick-moving blaze in Northern Colorado has led to the death of a pilot who was fighting the fire and has set off a wave of evacuations, officials said this week, underscoring research that wildfires are growing more intense and are occurring year-round. As of late Wednesday, the Kruger Rock fire near the southeastern tip […]

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What Does It Take to Build a Disaster-Proof House?

Ryan Runge, the president of Advanced Earthen Construction Technologies, who sold the couple their block-making machine, said the blocks are mold-proof and, when reinforced with rebar, earthquake-resistant. The walls are so thick that they retain heat in winter and remain cool enough in summer that air-conditioning isn’t necessary, at least on the first floor. “It’s […]

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How Fish Skin Grafts Save Animals Burned in California Wildfires

For years, fish skin has been used to treat human burn victims. The collagen, especially in tilapia, helps heal open wounds, which dramatically speeds up recovery and reduces pain in the process.  But now, a veterinarian in California is using the treatment on animals like bobcats, bears, and coyotes that are often overlooked during wildfire […]

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China and the United States Agree to Work Together to Tackle Climate Change

Scientists have said that nations need to cut global emissions from fossil fuels roughly in half this decade to keep average global temperatures from rising beyond 1.5 degrees Celsius, or 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit, compared with preindustrial levels. Beyond that threshold, the risks of deadly heat waves, droughts, wildfires, floods and species extinction grow considerably. The […]

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Tree DNA Sends a Poacher to Prison in 2018 Maple Fire Case

In the spring and summer of 2018, a crew of poachers had been chopping down trees by night in the Olympic National Forest in Washington State, federal prosecutors said. On Aug. 3, they came upon the wasp’s nest. It was at the base of a bigleaf maple, a species of hardwood tree with a shimmering […]

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Antarctica Was Once a Land of Fire and Not Ice

Imagine the forests of Chilean Patagonia: wet and cold, dense with monkey puzzle trees and other hardy conifers. Now imagine it with dinosaurs walking around. And on fire. This is what Antarctica was like 75 million years ago during the Cretaceous period, an era known by researchers as a “super fire world.” A paper published […]

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Infrastructure Bill Makes First Major U.S. Investment in Climate Resilience

WASHINGTON — The $1 trillion infrastructure bill now headed to President Biden’s desk includes the largest amount of money ever spent by the United States to prepare the nation to withstand the devastating impacts of climate change. The $47 billion in the bill designated for “climate resilience” is intended to help communities prepare for the […]

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As Turkey Chafes at Erdogan, He Gets Spikier Abroad

ISTANBUL — The global climate summit in Glasgow was supposed to be a big moment for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey. He was expected to use the chance to show off a new embrace of climate issues, and there are few things he likes more than mingling on the international stage beside other world […]

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The Glasgow Deforestation Pledge Isn’t Enough to Save Our Forests

The 2015 Paris climate agreement called on nations of the world to preserve forests and other ecosystems that store carbon. But forests continue to disappear — cut and burned and fragmented into ever smaller patches. This failure challenges all of our other climate efforts because unless forests remain standing, the world will never contain global […]

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Some Residents Taking Fighting Wildfires Into Their Own Hands

PALISADES, Wash. — Molly Linville vividly remembers the “wall of flame” that tore through the grasslands of her 600-acre ranch during the Sutherland fire four years ago. Working quickly, she managed to guide her 125 cattle into the irrigated field surrounding her home three hours east of Seattle. After that day, Ms. Linville resolved she […]

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Bomb Cyclone and ‘Atmospheric River’ Pummel California With Rain and Wind

California bore the brunt on Sunday of what meteorologists referred to as a “bomb cyclone” and an “atmospheric river,” a convergence of storms that brought more than half a foot of rain to parts of the Bay Area, along with high winds, concerns about flash floods and the potential for heavy snow in the Sierra […]

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Syria Executes 24 People for Setting Wildfires, Calling It ‘Terrorism’

BEIRUT, Lebanon — The Syrian government has executed 24 people and sentenced 11 others to life in prison with hard labor for lighting wildfires that burned across the country’s northwest last year, the Syrian justice ministry announced in a statement on Facebook on Thursday. The people convicted were accused not of arson but of terrorism, […]

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Climate of Ignorance

Herodotus tells us that the massive Persian fleet sent to conquer Greece lost half its ships to a freak storm,” Gerard Baker advised in a column in The Wall Street Journal, the tutelary organ of the American business class, on August 9. The column appeared the same day the latest report of the Intergovernmental Panel […]

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Has Climate Change Cut Us Off From the Wilderness in California?

Firefighters have resorted to skirting giant sequoias with foil, including the 2,000-year-old General Sherman tree, which stands less than a mile off the park’s main entrance road, down a paved path. It’s the top draw for the roughly 1.2 million visitors to the park, few of whom ever venture into the backcountry. As August ended, […]

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Alisal Fire in California Consumes 6,000 Acres in 24 Hours

Since it began on Monday afternoon, the Alisal fire in Southern California has consumed about 6,000 acres, driven by gusting winds and threatening to destroy more than 100 structures, according to the Santa Barbara County Fire Department. About 600 firefighters have been assigned to put it out, but so far they haven’t manage to contain […]

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An Expert on the Criminal Mind, Now He’s Suspected in California Arson Spree

The case of Mr. Maynard, the criminology professor, appears to show both the stresses of the pandemic, links to mental illness and the arduous work of stopping arsonists before they cause irreparable harm. Investigators tracked Mr. Maynard’s movements using his food stamp transactions, phone records and a device they attached to his car in the […]

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How Maori Arrival in New Zealand Was Frozen in Antarctic Ice

When it comes to records of human history, don’t overlook Earth’s only uninhabited continent. Researchers recently found soot preserved in Antarctic ice that they’ve linked to fires set in New Zealand by Māori settlers, the islands’ first human inhabitants. Finding evidence of conflagrations thousands of miles away is a dramatic example of early humanity’s environmental […]

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The Secret War Over Pentagon Aid in Fighting Wildfires

In July, as wildfires tore through the American West, President Biden met with the region’s governors to find better ways to battle the flames. Gov. Gavin Newsom of California requested use of military satellites that are designed to warn of missile attacks, calling the orbital fleet “a game changer” for spotting and fighting wildfires. Mr. […]

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Banning the Homeless Won’t Keep California From Burning

The day before the county’s encampment ban, a group of Topanga residents submitted a letter urging the board to “take action … to prevent camping fires and similar high-risk human behaviors, in order to protect our lives, homes, and community, including the homeless themselves.” Public comment submitted by concerned citizens in favor of the ban […]

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How to Calm Your Climate Anxiety

Today, when the humidity drops, Mr. Kochanowski sees the anxiety on his neighbors’ faces. Hot days stretch across more of the year and dewy, cool mornings are rare. Sometimes, he wonders if they should move on. “You realize the larger forces that have always been beyond your control,” he said. “That level of realization makes […]

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