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Unacceptable Risk: Firefighters on the Front Lines of Climate Change
The Story Group
A vivid short film about the on-the-ground experiences of veteran wildfire
fighters in Colorado, where fires fueled by heat and drought have increased
the length of the the fire season and the intensity and size of wildfires.
(12 minutes, February 2015)
Badru's Story: Inside Africa's Impenetrable Forest
Benjamin Drummond and Sara Joy Steele
Winner of the 2014 Yale Environment 360 Video Contest, this short film
documents the work done by Badru Mugerwa and others to monitor (via remote
cameras) the wildlife of Uganda's deep mountain forests. Some amazing images
accompany this inspiring story.
(6 minutes, 2014)
Explained in 90 Seconds: How Climate Change Fuels Wildfires
James West, Climate Desk, Wired
In this short, clear video, Professor Matthew Hurteau of Pennsylvania State
University links climate change, prolonged drought, fire suppression, and
wildfires. See below the video for a link to a June 2013
story by James West
(in Mother Jones) that explains the links at more length.
(90 seconds, August 2013)
(7 minutes, February 2010)
||articles & essays
Can 'Moneyball' Fix How the West Manages Wildfire?
Tony Schick, Northwest Public Broadcasting, July 2018
A thorough and lucid look at the question of when and how to let wildfires
burn‒and the difficulties built into these questions. Read or listen.
Climate Change, Wildfire, and the Future of Forests
Christopher Solomon, Outside Online, April 2018
We are used to thinking that when forests burn, new forests grow back. But
this may no longer be the case, as climate change both increases the intensity
and size of many fires and also alters the underlying conditions in which
forests become established. Now, when a forest burns, it might be replaced by
something quite different, perhaps not even trees. This piece is a good
introduction to a complicated issue that doesn't get looked at as much as it
needs to be.
Stark Evidence: A Warmer World Is Sparking More and Bigger Wildfires
Nicola Jones, Yale Environment 360, October 2017
This short, readable, and well-researched article surveys some key whys and
therefores of recent and expected increases in wildfires in some parts of the
world, including the western US and Canada. For a similarly good overview, see
Chelsea Harvey's "
Here's What We Know about Wildfires and Climate Change,"
ClimateWire, October 2017.
Small Pests, Big Problems: The Global Spread of Bark Beetles
Cheryl Katz, Yale Environment 360, September 2017
A good overview of the devastating spread of bark beetles that kill forest
trees, and not just in North America. New areas, new species of trees,
significant die-offs: the scale of this problem is "unprecedented
historically." Climate change is a key cause. A related issue: do
beetle-killed forests burn more often or more hotly? Maybe sometimes, as
intuition might expect, but much of the available evidence suggests not, as
explained by this 2016 piece from News Deeply,
Science of Wildfires and Tree Killing Beetles."
Researcher Finds New Evidence of Western Forest Decline
Daniel Grossman, Yale Climate Connections, August 2017
Around 2008, large stands of aspen trees in parts of the American West
suddenly and mysteriously died in what came to be named SAD, Sudden Aspen
Decline. Probably, scientists later deduced, the cause was drought. This piece
updates that story with ongoing research: will subsequent droughts kill the
trees most vulnerable to drying out?
The Future of Fighting Wildfires in the Era of Climate Change
Bob Berwyn, Pacific Standard, April 2017
As wildfires get bigger (and much more expensive), we will need to figure out
better ways to deal with them. Since we will never win the larger battle
fire, "We have to learn to live with it and adapt": choose which fires to
fight, think carefully about where to replant, manage strategically, get used
to the idea that we are going to lose parts of familiar landscapes . . .
The Forests of the World Are in Serious Trouble, Scientists Report
Chris Mooney, The Washington Post, August 2015
A good summary of the August 21 issue of the journal Science that focuses on
this topic, with descriptions of threats‒including those linked to
climate change‒to four kinds of forests, tropical, temperate, boreal,
How Megafires Are Remaking American Forests
Laura Parker, National Geographic, August 2015
What happens when really big fires burn? They may permanently change the
landscape. Such fires are expected to become the norm, and so scientists are
The Fate of Trees: How Climate Change May Alter Forests Worldwide
Jeff Tietz, Rolling Stone, March 2015
Sobering but clear, informative, and broad piece about forests of the US
Southwest and around the world, with especially useful explanations of how
heat, water, and carbon dioxide operate in individual trees.
Withering Clouds: Climate Change Damaging Biodiverse Costa Rica Forest
Ryan Schuessler, Al Jazeera America, February 2015
A good, though sobering, story about what is happening in Costa Rica's cloud
forests as temperatures‒and clouds‒rise, pushing living things
Greater Yellowstone in Peril
Rocky Mountain Climate Organization and Greater Yellowstone
Coalition, September, 2011. 48 pp.
Lucid, comprehensive, well-documented, illustrated account of the
climate-linked threats to Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks, parts
of six national forests, and more. Includes discussions of pine beetles,
grizzly bears, native trout, and wildfire.
U.S. Forest Service Climate Change Resource Center
Articles, guidebooks (about adaptation strategies, for instance), video
lectures, information about ongoing research, and links to additional
sources, all focused on the effects of climate change on American forest