Scientists predicted climate change would fuel the kind of devastating wildfires that California has seen this year. Except it wasn’t expected to happen for decades.
A major analysis by state researchers projected that the amount of area burned by wildfire could jump 77% by the end of the century. Another study by UCLA warned that by 2050 fire on average would scorch twice as much land in Southern California.
A doubling happened this year, instead of three decades from now.
California blazes have blackened 4.1 million acres this year, compared with about 2 million acres in 2018. Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) calls it a climate “fast-forward” and a warning for the nation, said Wade Crowfoot, the state Natural Resources Agency secretary.
“Frankly, we’re alarmed because this wildfire destruction that we’re seeing in 2020 is the type of destruction that we anticipated experiencing later in the century,” Crowfoot said in an