The California fires of 2020
The doe fire started on August 19th and has been raging ever since, and when the sky turned orange on September the 9th, 2020 it went to a whole new level of scary.
So far there have been at least 25 deaths and at least 4.5m acres of California is burning.
Mr. Newsom governor of California has said "The debate is over, around climate change," he told reporters. "This is a climate damn emergency. This is real and it's happening."
It's been considered that the cause of the fires, or a main contributor, was poor forest maintenance but no one can argue that this is climate change screaming at us to do something.
There were a few unusual dry lighting storms seen, and the humid temperatures on the days preceding August 19th definitely contributed to the intensity of the wildfires, however a main reason this is the worst series of wildfires California has ever seen, is global warming.
Both Oregon and California have warmed by more than 1C since 1900. With temperatures rising and heatwaves being a bigger increase in temperature range than before, many trees in California have died and dried out becoming the perfect fuel for wildfires to thrive. Everyone agrees that because climate change increased the surface temperature, the wildfires were that much more devastating, but in this case, everyone hates being right.
We all know that trees are crucial to fending global warming away, so what does something like millions of trees burning do to the environment?
Trees absorb Co2 from the planet, they're our little green superheros, but when a tree burns all the Co2 it absorbed it effectively released again with additional toxins in one big process. Yes, eventually the tree rots and dies and releases the carbon dioxide, but millions of acres all burning at the same time is kind of like undoing hundreds of years of hard work done by the trees. Hundreds of years of collected carbon dioxide released back into the air.
The California wildfires of 2020 are life-changing and horrible, not only to the human population but to wildlife and to our planet in general. We are being forced to take a hard look at ourselves and the consequences of our actions, so why don't do something about them?
Until next time, remember to be your own superhero.