Climate Change and Wildfires Essay Example
In recent years, articles have explained how the wildfires have been worse due to the overall climate and conditions on this planet. Wildfires have become a frequently occurring event in today’s society and can cause serious alterations to the planet’s ecosystems. While wildfires occur naturally, the increase in frequency and severity are the result of mankind’s dependence on fossil fuels. It is known that normal amounts of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide and methane, are naturally released into the atmosphere. Ecosystems that are heavily populated by trees, often absorb these gases when the plant population is completing the never-ending cycle of photosynthesis. This relationship has existed with a healthy equilibrium for millenniums.
As mankind further advances and expands, they need for more space and resources has become an issue that has been met with harmful solutions. With farmers killing healthy parts of forests through the practice of slash and burn agriculture, which intends to restore the depleted nutrients of an infertile land with the burning of the surrounding plant life. And with the practice of deforestation being performed on a large scale by loggers.
The quantity and quality of remaining ecosystems with a large density of plant life are decreasing at a rapid rate, while the emission of harmful greenhouses continues to increase. Ecosystems must survive for us humans to thrive. The result of this unbalance has been given the name of global warming, in which the global temperature has slowly been increasing, thus leading to warmer temperatures and harsher droughts. As global warming increases so is the likelihood of more wildfires which in turn will cause more and more devastation. These climate changes have created the perfect dry atmosphere which has led to an increase of severity in wildfires.
Why Wildfires Are Increasing
The controversy is why these wildfires are increasing in severity and frequency. This question has been debated for many years, but recently, this controversy has featured distinct positions held by specific groups. First, there are the scientists that believe that if we don't stop the wildfires from happening in the future, it will lead to a very grim and unpleasant future. Second, are the political leaders that have burned down parts of ecosystems that are heavily populated by plant species with the justification of agricultural betterment.
Finally, people don't know what the causes of these wildfires are, basing their actions as a contributing factor for this phenomenon. Many people believe that the climate has nothing to do with the amount of acreage burned in wildfires, however, others maintain that with the heat and carbon will damage the world forever. The stakeholders are the government and the members of society, who must together, decide on a solution to combat these wildfires.
In the Washington Post, Andrew Freedmen Andrew Freedman, an editor, and reporter whose focus is in extreme weather and climate research and is a stakeholder that has covered this topic with a specialization in climate research and its policies. Freedmen asserts that wildfires are a result of global warming and how it will later affect the world. “Nothing is abnormal about the climate this year or the rainfall in the Amazon region, with just below average” (Freedman, par. 3). The Brazilian Amazon has experienced over 74,155 fires since January, which according to Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research also known as the INPE states that there is an 85% increase from former years (Freedman, par. 2).
The INPE uses satellite-based sensors that are used to calculate the amount of acreage that has been burnt and lost, which recorded 1,330 square miles of burnet rainforests in just a month of January. The Amazon fires have caused 2.4 billion metric tons of carbon to be released into the atmosphere. Thus, causing pollution and the worsening of the climate for more and more fires to occur in the future. “If we continue to deforest, we are releasing huge amounts of carbon into the atmosphere.” (Freedman par. 12). By showing the amount of damage done, Freedman wishes to encourage people to stand up for these rainforests or the whole world might turn into one big desert. Therefore, freedman believes that strong environmental programs should be created and funded in the hopes of stopping the destruction of our planet.
In her article Rebecca Fowler who is a science writer and a communications manager for the Center of Climate and life (Fowler). Three mighty wildfires are flaming in California. The Campfire had burned 70,000 acres in 24 hours and consumed Paradise, a community of about 26,000 people north of Sacramento. The three wildfires were being fueled by dry conditions, heat and strong Santa Ana winds. Each of the fires remained completely uncontained. Williams, a bioclimatologist at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, was awarded funding from the Center for Climate and Life to study this topic. William examines the drivers of drought and the role of human-induced climate change, particularly on the health and resilience of forests. “No matter how hard we try, the fires are going to keep getting bigger, and the reason is really clear,” (Fowler, par, 6) “Climate is really running the show in terms of what burns” (Fowler, par. 6). We should be getting ready for bigger fire years than those familiar to previous generations” (Fowler).
Christopher Joyce is a science reporter for NPR news and clearly states that the people are the causes of wildfires across the U.S. Christopher is also a stakeholder because he is a citizen of the United States and speaks directly to an audience that also holds the title of a stakeholder. Joyce asserts that “almost 60 percent of national parks fires are caused by people” (Joyce, par. 2) and based on a recent study, 84 percent of nationwide wildfires are also caused by the people. The normal season fire season has been extended by three months due to the number of wildfires that have occurred. Many fires occur because of poorly constructed campfires, discarded cigarettes, equipment malfunction and a blatant act of arson.
How Farmers Affect the Issue
Farmers are also in fault by the act of expanding agricultural land to improve their financial needs and better use of their land. They have destroyed forests nearly to extinction, eliminating some off the face of this earth. For example, many believe that people started the Rocky Mountains wildfire. Joyce explains why changes should be in movement and people should start watching what they are doing.
Many arguments have been triggered and the question still posed, “Does the climate affect wildfires?”. While some argue that the carbon levels are to blame, others believe that drought and people are the main reasons for wildfires. Freedman believes that the practice of burning rainforests for agricultural land is wrong and needs to be investigated thoroughly. In contrast, Fowler claims that drought brought by environmental heat is the main influence in the re-occurring wildfires. Joyce holds another position on this matter, giving the idea that society is the cause of almost 84 percent of all the wildfires.
Although these articles contain different views and facts that do support their claims, all of the articles form the verbatim question of “Does climate affect wildfires?” In all of these viewpoint articles, they each address a small portion within the immense debate in which they all explain their reasonings and theories. They all support their valid points. As these stakeholders’ opinionated facts on the reason of why and how the wildfires are becoming a frequent occurrence and how exactly the later severity of these fires will be. These articles provide significant facts hat come together as a whole and serve as an answer to this ongoing controversy.