Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Global Warming Link Wildfires Begin

Who didn't know such a connection would be attempted between wildfires and global warming? Anderson Cooper's Planet in Peril series made the connection the day of the report of the California fires, before it became known it was arson-related, when the tagline for the program segment was entitled California in Peril. Why wasn't it California in Crisis? or California Crying or anything that didn't suggest a connection between warming of the planet and wildfires?

A Spark Neglected: Wildfires and Global Warming
Select Committee to Examine Link Between Changing Climate, Frequency and Intensity of Wildfires

“A spark neglected makes a mighty fire.”
--Robert Herrick

Following the devastating fires in Southern California, the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming will hold a hearing examining the scientific link between a changing climate and the frequency and intensity of wildfires.

Witnesses will discuss the present effects of climate change on wildfires and contributing factors such as increased drought, changes in snowmelt patterns, changes in precipitation, and higher temperatures. In addition, mitigation and adaptation strategies will be discussed.

The frequency and intensity of wildfires have increased in recent decades throughout the Western United States. Last year, the Forest Service spent a record $2.5 billion fighting wildfires that burned a record 9.9 million acres (4 million hectares), compared to the ten-year average of 6 million acres. This year 8.7 million acres have burned thus far. The current fires burning in California are expected to cause over $1 billion in property damage alone and have already burned an area the size of Rhode Island. Mounting scientific evidence indicates that the growth in wildfires is linked to global warming and that this trend is likely to intensify in the coming decades.

WHAT: Select Committee Hearing, "Wildfires and the Climate Crisis"

WHEN: Thursday, November 1st, 2007, 10 AM

WHERE: 2172 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC
Or on the web at

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