Western Wildfire Ashes, Smoke Causing Problems 1,000 Miles East
The New York Times reports on how fumes from the Dixie fire in California and other western wildfires are causing a "a pall of noxious smoke" in Denver, 1,100 miles east. Other news outlets cover climate change effects, low reservoir levels and water conservation efforts.
The New York Times:
The Ashes of the Dixie Fire Cast a Pall 1,000 Miles From Its Flames
Smoke from wildfires across western Canada, Oregon and California has stained the skies and fouled the air as far away as Iowa, Minnesota and even New York City. Recent research suggests that the smoke may actually grow more toxic as it ages, undergoes chemical changes and blows across the country, reacting with sunlight and other molecules floating in the air. Over time, smoke may form reactive compounds that can be especially damaging to the body once they are inhaled. (Albeck-Ripka, Fuller and Healy, 8/9)
The Washington Post:
Triple-Digit Heat, ‘Dangerously Hot Conditions’ Brewing In Pacific Northwest
It’s been a summer marred by record-shattering, deadly heat in the Pacific Northwest and yet another significant heat wave is on the way. Triple-digit temperatures will roast cities like Portland, Ore., Medford and Spokane, while the risk of wildfires ramps up over the region. The forecast coincides with the release of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s latest assessment review of climate science, which notes a firm link between human-caused global warming and top-tier heat events, like the late June episode that brought a high of 108 degrees to Seattle and 116 degrees in Portland. (Cappucci, 8/9)
In related news about heat waves and drinking water shortages —
The New York Times:
A Hotter Future Is Certain, Climate Panel Warns. But How Hot Is Up to Us.
Nations have delayed curbing their fossil-fuel emissions for so long that they can no longer stop global warming from intensifying over the next 30 years, though there is still a short window to prevent the most harrowing future, a major new United Nations scientific report has concluded. Humans have already heated the planet by roughly 1.1 degrees Celsius, or 2 degrees Fahrenheit, since the 19th century, largely by burning coal, oil and gas for energy. And the consequences can be felt across the globe: This summer alone, blistering heat waves have killed hundreds of people in the United States and Canada, floods have devastated Germany and China, and wildfires have raged out of control in Siberia, Turkey and Greece. (Plumer and Fountain, 8/9)
Once-In-50-Year Heat Waves Now Happening Every Decade -U.N. Climate Report
Extreme heat waves that previously only struck once every 50 years are now expected to happen once per decade because of global warming, while downpours and droughts have also become more frequent, a U.N. climate science report said on Monday. The report found that we are already experiencing those effects of climate change, as the planet has surpassed more than 1 degree Celsius in average warming. Heat waves, droughts and torrential rains are only set to become more frequent and extreme as the earth warms further. (Spring, 8/9)
Lake Mead At A Low
About 25 million Americans depend on the reservoir at Lake Mead for their water, including residents of Los Angeles, San Diego, Phoenix, Tucson, Arizona, and Las Vegas. (Hart, 8/9)
Dry California Tourist Town To Guests: 'Please Conserve'
Tourists flock by the thousands to the coastal town of Mendocino for its Victorian homes and cliff trails, but visitors this summer are also finding public portable toilets and signs on picket fences pleading: “Severe Drought. Please conserve water.” Hotels have closed their lobby bathrooms and residents have stopped watering their gardens in the foggy outpost about 150 miles (240 kilometers) north of San Francisco after two years of little rain sapped many of the wells Mendocino depends on for potable water. (Rodriguez and Daley, 8/10)