Anthropogenic Climate Change Impacts
Palisades wildfire in Topanga CA May, 2021. Photo by Amir AghaKouchak/UC Irvine.
A study released June 12 2023 by a Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) scientists shows that Anthropogenic climate change impacts exacerbate summer forest fires in California. The research appears in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
"Nearly all the recent increase in summer wildfire burned area is attributable to human-caused (anthropogenic) climate change.
The team modeled the climate drivers of summer wildfire activity in California and found that "the drivers of increasing summer burn area are all anthropogenic."Anthropogenic simulations yielded burn areas an average of 172% higher than natural variation simulations."
Although repeated wildfires consume fuel and limit the activity of subsequent fires in the same area, the team estimated that "the next decades (between 2031 and 2050) may see a further increase in the average summer burn area in California of up to 52% more than current average burn areas." Insurers are rethinking property coverage in areas of California.
As of this writing, The Guardian reports "huge swaths of the US continue to face extreme weather as temperatures persist into the triple digits in the south and south-west while smoke pollution is blighting the midwest.... [and] This year’s wildfire season is the worst on record in Canada, with some 76,000 sq km (29,000 sq miles) burning across eastern and western Canada. With much of Canada still experiencing unusually warm and dry conditions, “there’s still no end in sight”,"
On the positive side, on December 5, 2022 LLNL finally achieved fusion ignition via lasers, perhaps opening the way for an unlimited, clean energy source, less than a decade away, with resources of deuterium and tritium in the ocean. Fusion drives the sun and stars.
This effort over decades involving thousands of brilliant minds around the globe represents an expression of the expansion of the noosphere or planetary mind.
LLNL's Earth and Atmospheric Science research teams also tackle complex issues related to national security challenges such as ensuring the resilience of energy delivery systems. They do atmospheric modeling and "risk assessments that enable public safety personnel to effectively respond to atmospheric dispersions of hazardous chemicals."
Techno-optimists are encouraged that science and a technology-enhanced global mind might still avert an environmental catastrophe.