Showing posts with label Wildfires. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Wildfires. Show all posts

Tuesday, 28 April 2020

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney tours Fort MacMurray, site of major spring flooding - fails to see his own handiwork amid the damage. (Opinion)

by Larry Powell
Fort MacMurray, AB. Photo credit - MacMurray Aviation.

 Kenney was out inspecting the town of Fort MacMurray and region this morning, where major flooding has resulted in a mandatory evacuation order going out for the entire downtown area. Big trucks and low-lying buildings are reportedly submerged. 

This is the same Premier who "dissed" a reporter recently for daring to ask if this might be the time to transition away from fossil fuels to renewable, sustainable energy. Kenney was especially shocked that he was a member of the Calgary press core, who are apparently all supposed to be cozy little members of the same club, parroting Kenny's anti-science lies about the consequences of continuing to exploit the tar sands. 

This is also the same Premier who is spending millions of tax dollars from his own citizens, including desperate, unemployed oil workers, to fund a "war room," spreading mis-information about the consequences of a changing climate (more floods, wildfires, rains and droughts) and slandering environmental groups in the process. 

Until this man joins the 21st century, realizes that fossil fuels are "oh-so-20th-century" and begins helping people to re-train for work in alternative, renewables energy projects, he'll get zero sympathy from me.
Fort Mac - 2016. A Creative Commons photo.
Barely four years ago, catastrophic and historic wildfires decimated the same region, consuming many homes and businesses and raining havoc and misery down on hundreds of local citizens. 

Until we start to hold politicians like this accountable and call them out for the dangerous policies they advocate, these tragedies will only deepen.

In the age of Covid-19, these events are surely the last things we need right now!
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Tuesday, 7 April 2020

Bushfires damaged Australian rainforest that is home to Earth's only living specimens of ancient species

PHYS ORG
Rainforest foliage in Nightcap National Park, NSW Wales, an international heritage
site hit hard by the bushfires. Photo by Naught101
Recent wildfires in Australia torched more than 48,000 square miles of land (for context, more than 40 Riding Mountain National Parks). The fires impacted ecologically sensitive regions, including an area called the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Site. This region contains a vast concentration of living plants with fossil records from tens of millions of years ago, according to Peter Wilf. Story here.

RELATED:

The hand of man shows through once again in another climate catastrophe.

Thursday, 2 April 2020

Bush-fire smoke linked to hundreds of deaths

nature
Bushfire smoke shrouds the Blue Mountains,
as seen from Sydney Harbour Bridge,
Dec.,2019. Photo by Sardaka.
The first study to estimate health effects from Australia’s extreme fires suggests that several thousand extra people were admitted to hospital. Story here.

Monday, 30 March 2020

Record number of fires rage around Amazon farms that supply the world's biggest butchers

The Bureau of Investigative Journalism
The summer’s Amazon fires were three times more common in the areas supplying cattle to abattoirs than elsewhere in the rainforest. Details here.

Monday, 24 February 2020

In the line of fire


Nature Climate Change 
The bushfires burning in Australia have led to widespread local and global calls for increased efforts to mitigate climate change. Details here.

Thursday, 6 February 2020

This is the age of the megafire – and it’s being fuelled by our leaders


Tim Flannery for the Guardian
Bushfires spire from Yuraygir National Park,
Australia. Photo by European Space Agency.

In the face of the climate disaster it helped create, the Australian government has given us only lies and denial. Story here.

Saturday, 25 January 2020

Wildfires in Western Canada Created Air Pollution Spikes as Far Away as New York City


Eco Watch
Fires around Ft. MacMurray, Alberta, Canada in 2016.
Satellite photo by NASA Earth Observatory.
New York City isn't known for having the cleanest air, but researchers traced recent air pollution spikes there to two surprising sources — fires hundreds of miles away in Canada and the southeastern U.S. Story here.

Thursday, 12 December 2019

Fires scorching Bolivia’s Chiquitano forest

Science magazine
Wildfires in the Amazon rainforests of Bolivia.
Photo by List Top 10.
The Chiquitano Dry Forest - endemic to Bolivia, highly biodiverse, and considered the world’s best-preserved tropical dry forest - has lost a staggering 1.4 million hectares to fires since July. Story here.

Friday, 22 November 2019

Australian blazes will ‘reframe our understanding of bushfire’

Science Magazine
Fire on Cape Barren Is. Australia, 2016. Photo by Planet Labs, Inc.

Summary
Australia is on fire like never before—and this year's "bushfire" season, which typically peaks in January or February, has barely begun. Driven in part by a severe drought, fires have burned 1.65 million hectares in the state of New South Wales, more than the state's total in the previous 3 years combined. Six people have died and more than 500 homes have been destroyed. As Science went to press, some 70 uncontrolled fires were burning in adjacent Queensland, and South Australia was bracing for potentially "catastrophic" burns. David Bowman, a fire geographer and director of the Fire Centre Research Hub at the University of Tasmania in Hobart, spoke with Science about the unprecedented crisis. The flames have charred even wet ecosystems once thought safe, he says. And the fires have become "white-hot politically," with Prime Minister Scott Morrison's Liberal government drawing criticism for refusing to acknowledge any link to climate change.

Monday, 18 November 2019

Fueling Concerns of Approaching Catastrophic 'Tipping Point,' Deforestation of Brazilian Amazon Hit Highest Level in Decade


Common Dreams
Another denizen of the Amazon.
Photo by Tom MacKenzie - 
U.S.
Fish and Wildlife Service


"These figures confirm what we feared, namely that 2019 has been a dark year for the rainforest in Brazil." 
 Story here.

Sunday, 13 October 2019

Parched peatlands fuel Indonesia's blazes


Fires set illegally to clear forests and peatlands for agricultural use in Indonesia are once again generating an acrid haze that has spread across that country and its neighbors. But a number of scientists say the haze emergency—which sent scores to hospitals with respiratory problems and led to school closures and flight cancellations—could have been worse. In the years since the last major haze event in 2015, Indonesia has moved to restore peatlands, making them more fire-resistant; enhanced restrictions on converting primary forests to agricultural lands; and stepped up enforcement of bans on fires. Experts praise the progress but say even more needs to be done, particularly in area of enforcement of laws holding plantation operators liable for fires on their lands even if they don't deliberately start them.

Sunday, 11 August 2019

Black carbon lofts wildfire smoke high into the stratosphere to form a persistent plume


Science Magazine.
In 2017, western Canadian wildfires injected smoke into the stratosphere that was detectable by satellites for more than 8 months. The smoke plume rose from 12 to 23 kilometers within 2 months owing to solar heating of black carbon, extending the lifetime and latitudinal spread. Comparisons of model simulations to the rate of observed lofting indicate that 2% of the smoke mass was black carbon. The observed smoke lifetime in the stratosphere was 40% shorter than calculated with a standard model that does not consider photochemical loss of organic carbon. Photochemistry is represented by using an empirical ozone-organics reaction probability that matches the observed smoke decay. The observed rapid plume rise, latitudinal spread, and photochemical reactions provide new insights into potential global climate impacts from nuclear war. More here.
Smoke-filled skies over San Diego - fall 2007.
Photo by Eric Pettigrew.



Thursday, 23 May 2019

Albertans lose more than they gain with carbon tax repeal


PEMBINA INSTITUTE

Slave Lake, Alberta, June 2011. The aftermath of the wildfire 
that destroyed one third of the town. Photo by Mrsramsey.
Pembina Institute reacts to repeal of Alberta’s Climate Leadership Act. Story here.

Thursday, 28 March 2019

The destruction of the Earth is a crime. It should be prosecuted. Opinion.

George Monbiot  - The Guardian.

Ashcroft Reserve wildfire - Look Lake, BC, 2017. Photo by Shawn Cahill
Businesses should be liable for the harm they do. Polly Higgins is pushing to make that happen. Story here.

Saturday, 16 March 2019

Enormous Painted Lady Migration in California


Daily Kos
A painted lady.
Things are shaping up for 2019 to be another massive migration year for Painted Lady butterflies.  Story here.

Saturday, 2 February 2019

‘The devastation of human life is in view’: what a burning world tells us about climate change


The Guardian
Houses burn in the monster "Fort Mac" fire in Alberta, CA.
IMAGE CREDITS: TWITTER, INDIATODAY.

I was wilfully deluded until I began covering global warming, says David Wallace-Wells. But extreme heat could transform the planet by 2100. Story here.


Monday, 19 November 2018

The 'new abnormal' — California megafires explode with off-the-charts fury


The National Observer
California is on the burning edge of climate breakdown. Story here.

Tuesday, 11 September 2018

Sunday, 9 September 2018

Wildfires make their own weather, and that matters for fire management


ScienceNews
A wildfire on the Ashcroft reserve in B.C, 2017. Shawn Cahill.
New prediction tools zero in on how blazes throw embers and make weather that fans the flames. Story here.

Friday, 20 July 2018

Wildfires rage in Arctic Circle as Sweden calls for help


The Guardian
Sweden worst hit as hot, dry summer sparks unusual number of fires, with at least 11 in the far north. More here.

Beyond Covid 19. Are we risking yet another pandemic if we continue to embrace "assembly-line" livestock production into the future?

by Larry Powell No one would argue that Covid 19 demands our undivided attention. Surely,  defeating this "beast" has to be &...