The staggering statistics keep piling up for California’s wildfire season: August and September account for five of the six biggest fires in nearly 90 years of recorded history for the state. The phrases climate change and global warming are being banded around by politicians and activists alike, arson has also been mentioned and why not, 2020 has suddenly produced a whole army of crazy people over there across the pond.
The usual trinity of extreme heat, drought and blustery winds are of course the main antagonists here, however, it is hard to deny climate change/global warming especially when one considers the exact same unfolding disaster happened in Australia late last year and early this year which resulted in 3 billion animals dead or injured and nearly 25% of Australian temperate forestry destroyed, like Donald Trump, the Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morison denied climate change/global warming was the cause of the unprecedented disaster.
But is there another reason for these fantastic wildfires which are becoming more and more explosive with every year passing? There is something happening in California which is never mentioned on our evening news, not over there as far as I am aware and definitely not over here.
There are in California more than 150 million dead trees with around a further 20 million a year dying, the numbers are quite frankly staggering, especially when you consider back in 2014 only 3.3 million dead trees were officially recorded. Full story
According to the US Forest Service’saerial survey of federal, state, and private land in California, at the beginning of 2019, 18 million trees throughout the state died in 2018, bringing the state’s total number of dead trees to more than 147 million. The concern is these trees could be matchsticks for another conflagration, or that the decaying timber could maim a hiker, a ranger, or a firefighter. The total number of dead trees now in California is probably somewhere around 170 million, 19 months after the survey.
What is killing so many trees? In California’s case, it is bark beetles. Trees defend themselves against these pests by producing a resin that traps and kills the critters as they try to burrow through the bark. The resin production is almost completely based on water availability, California is suffering a long time drought. Little water means little resin, which means little resistance against beetles, which are also appearing in larger numbers due to climate change. Warmer winters mean that more beetles survive the cooler season, leading to more abundant numbers in the spring.
"Okay. It’ll start getting cooler. You just watch. Well, I don’t think science knows, actually." Mr Trump addressing the American people on the record heat in California recently.
So when Mr Trump claims forestry miss management is the cause of the fires he may well have a point to some extent, even though the main antagonists here is the extreme heat, tinderbox conditions and blustery winds. But, just maybe he should be telling his people what is the real reason behind the forestry miss management is, which is undoubtedly climate change/global warming... Oh the irony, the carousel continues.