Climate Change Has Doubled Fire Risk Days in California

Climate change has doubled the number of extreme-risk days for California wildfires, according to research released yesterday.

An analysis led by Stanford University found that temperatures rose about 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit statewide while precipitation dropped 30% since 1980. That doubled the number of autumn days—when fire risk is highest—with extreme conditions for the ignition of wildfires.

“That’s a really big increase over a relatively short period of time that can be attributed directly to the changes in climate,” said Daniel Swain, a climate scientist at UCLA and one of the study’s authors.

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