Climate Change and the California Wildfires

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Dominique Bowie Climate Change and the California Wildfires Your Class Instructor name August 13th 2010 The world around us is forever changing. Things don’t ever quite stay the same do they? Over the year there have been changes in politics, traditions, and even television. The list could go on and on. With that being said, there is one element of the world where change could drastically impact our futures and that of our loved ones. Our surrounding Environment is becoming more complicated and fragile on a yearly basis.

Studies by scientist all over the world show that are world could be destroyed if we all don’t do our part to keep it clean and save energy. Decreasing fuels and recycling has to be done to limit the effects of climate change. The effects from not taking care of our surroundings is can be disastrous! No where has this been more apparent then in the state of California. California is The state of Glitz and Glamour. The state is known for having an A list of many of the biggest stars in America. The state is also becoming increasingly know for its wildfires.

Every year you turn on your television set and during the summer months into September you see wild Brush Fires that ignite and rage out of control. The Results have been costly and tragic. Over the Years, Millions of acres of land has been charred and destroyed. Thousands of lives have been effected and changed forever by these fires Many have lost there homes to the fires unrelenting power. It seems that every year the fires are getting harder to control and require more manpower, which is costly to a state that has one of the highest unemployment percentages in the nation.

The Wildfires of the year 2003 will be remembered as a nightmare for many. The California Wildfires of 2003 will long go down as one of the most catastrophic events that has ever taken place in California. During The month of October 2003 the Wildfires ravaged the state so bad that people were wondering if all the crews and fire fighters would ever be able to get the brush fires under control. The Devastation took the lives of 22 people, destroyed 3,500 homes and Charred more than 750. 000 acres of land.

The continuous television coverage of the fires raised the awareness of some elements that played a role in the fires lasting so long. California has some glaring characteristics that make it more susceptible to Having these types of wildfires. California is has a climate that is forever changing and getting worse by the minute. One thing that has been noticeable is that California has been going through a drought of sorts in respect to precipitation. In other words the lack of rain makes the environment more combustible.

This is where the climate change is coming in to play in regards to there being no rain. If they are getting less rain then the brush just continues to grow. It is so flammable that if the conditions are right, such as when dry hot winds blow in off the desserts. When that happens it don’t take much to start of a major brushfire. The fumes from a car, or lightening strike, or a cigarette could cause disaster beyond belief. California’s terrain is makes the state a hotbed for the fires as well. California’s mountainous terrain provides more ideal conditions for wildfires.

The steep hill moving upward provide a great tunnel for the 70 mph wins. There is one thing that is hard to understand in all of this. Why do people continue to build on these steep hills. The complicate matters so much more. This property is making it that much harder for firefighters to contain the fires. People that have land on here will not be able to have access to there homes with them being in that position. These homes are adding fuel to the fire as well, so it makes it a up hill climb for the crews that are trying to contain the blaze.

The climate in California is very arid. The forestation of California is very flammable. It contains pines and creosotes and vegetation that is nearly explosive when flame is applied. The real wildcard is the overpowering Santa Ana Winds. These winds make fires jump over mountains and highways to move on to land that is flammable. California need rain badly. The drought makes things worse and makes the vegetation and the ground ready for fuel for a impending fire. The many valleys and canyons make it very hard to clear out the brush.

Its also makes it hard for firefighters and there equipment to get through to fight the fires. Mother Nature can be unforgiving. On top of that the general public actions on a everyday basis are adding fuel to the fires. Fuels and gases that are getting into our atmosphere will make these fires tougher to fight and also will put the future of the world at large as risk. There are things people everywhere can do to stop our world from over heating. California is has experienced events that have shown that we all have to try to do our part to prevent Global Warming.

Scientists have determined that Global Warming is being fueled by a number of human activities (www. environment. about. com 2010). Our acts are releasing excessive amounts of Greenhouse Gases into the atmosphere. Greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide accumulate in the atmosphere and trap heat that would normally exit out into outer space. Some Greenhouse gases are need for life. Without them the world would not be heated properly enough to sustain life. Are way of living is the main cause for Greenhouse Gases.

Every day we drive cars to work and other places that we need to get to . We use electricity at home and at our jobs and other places of convenience. We heat our homes during the cold months and some states have many more of these months than others. Consequences of Global Warming can be ever lasting. The more Greenhouse gases that are trapped in the atmosphere the more the possibility of having fires and storms that can wreak havoc on our world. The increase in Gases trapped in the atmosphere changes the climate and makes weather patterns inconsistent. environment. about. com 2010). It can also make species go extinct faster. Make seasons be longer than usual, cause costal flooding, and cause severe storms. The future of our word is at stake. We can all do our world a lot of justice by changing out light bulbs and either car pooling or buy vehicles that have high per mileage on gas. The choice for a bright future is up to us. California has shown us that we have to take control of our own destiny. Fires like the ones there will continue to become more disastrous and take more lives and destroy more homes.

Hurricanes and Typhoons will cause more destruction and grow in velocity. Global warming is a huge concern for all of the world. Citizens in every community have to do there part to make sure that our children and the next generation of people are able to live long and prosperous lives. References http://environment. about. com/od/faqglobalwarming/f/globalwarming. htm Fueling The WildFires. Warran Mass. The New American: Appleton: Dec 1, 2003 Vol 19, Iss, 24 P. 18- 22 http://gov. ca. gov/index. php? /press-release/15064/ http://www. epa. gov/climatechange/wycd/home. html

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