Texas Wildfires May Get Worse In The Future
This week, a group of scientists released a comprehensive report on climate change, titled the National Climate Assessment. One of its authors is a Texas professor, who, looking at wildfires in Texas, points to the past to predict the future.
The report from the U.S. Global Climate Change Research Program predicts “record-setting temperatures in Texas.” It concludes: QUOTE “climate change is exacerbating the major factors that lead to wildfire – heat, drought, and dead trees.” Dr. Katharine Hayhoe, a professor at Texas Tech, is one of the lead authors.
In 2011, more than 31,000 wildfires in Texas scorched about 4 million acres. Most notable were the Rockhouse Fire, near Marfa, in the Spring -- and the Bastrop Fire, near Austin, in the Fall. By Texas standards, the Rockhouse Fire is considered one of the largest geographically, and the Bastrop Fire, one of the most catastrophic.
Dr. Hayhoe explains that, just before this drought began, there was a record wet year in Texas. And the pattern for the future is exactly this: more extreme weather cycles.
You can hear the full KRTS News interview with Katharine Hayhoe in our Talk At Ten archives.