California wildfires have been on the rise in the most recent years. They have a huge impact on the environment and people’s health.
One of the main contributors to the California wildfires is climate change. The climate in California has warmed by 3 degrees in the past decade. Lack of rain is making summers hotter and dyer. The warm weather is drying out plants, making them susceptible to burn. Due to the effects of climate change, fires in California are increasing in size. Studies from sediment cores taken from swamp lake in Yosemite National park, show that there is a correlation between climate change and wildfires thriving.
California’s Wildfires have been detrimental to our environment. The environmental damage caused by these fires is not reversible and its effects linger on for decades. After a fire often trees will not grow back due to soil deconstruction and erosion. This affects the wildlife that depend on the vegetation, making it harder to find food. Experts say that sometimes the real damage may not even be known until 10 years down the line. When a wildfire is put out it doesn’t mean that the destruction is over.
The smoke produced by wildfires can carry many harmful chemicals that pollute the air people breathe in, and overall change the air quality. The most recent case of a fire in California was the Saddleridge fire on October 11 in the San Fernando Valley area. The air quality due to the fire was so poor that the Southern California Air Quality Management District issued an advisory Friday through Saturday morning. Exposure to wildfire smoke is very dangerous, people are inhaling things like copper, ammonia, lead, and carbon monoxide. This is associated to asthma, decreased lung function, and heart attacks. California residents have been struggling with this for years especially, especially the most recent years with this issue getting worst.
This is just one of the many things that climate change is affecting. There are direct correlations between climate change and wildfires from rising temperatures and droughts. With the frequent occurrence of fires and how they are prone to quickly grow in size, things seems to be an issue that California residents are going to have to be enduring.
Carter , R. C. (2019, October 12). Saddleridge fire, Riverside County blazes are polluting the air. Here’s what you can do to protect yourself. Retrieved October 14, 2019, from https://www.dailynews.com/2019/10/11/saddleridge-fire-riverside-county-blazes-are-polluting-the-air-heres-what-you-can-do-to-protect-yourself/
BORUNDA, A. B. (2018, November 15). See how a warmer world primed California for large fires. Retrieved October 13, 2019, from https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/2018/11/climate-change-california-wildfire/#close
Study of past California wildfire activity suggest climate change will worsen future fires. (2019, October 8). Retrieved October 14, 2019, from https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/10/191008104659.htm
US wildfire smoke deaths could double by 2100. (2018, September 10). Retrieved October 14, 2019, from https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/09/180910142417.htm
What Is the Impact of California Wildfires on the Environment? – Essel Environmental. (2019, February 21). Retrieved October 14, 2019, from https://www.esseltek.com/what-is-the-impact-of-california-wildfires-on-the-environment/