AI maps forest dryness to better predict wildfires

A new AI model that maps moisture levels in fine detail across 12 western states opens the door for better wildfire predictions.

Josie Garthwaite-Stanford • futurity
May 22, 2020 ~8 min

Tags: wildfire maps satellites artifical-intelligence earth-and-environment

It’s Hurricane Preparedness Week, and communities aren't ready for both coronavirus and a disaster

The US faces a high risk of hurricanes and other disasters this year that could leave thousands of people in need of shelter. COVID-19 will make those disasters more dangerous to manage.

Mark Abkowitz, Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Director of the Vanderbilt Center for Environmental Management Studies, Vanderbilt University • conversation
May 5, 2020 ~9 min

Tags: health environment covid-19 coronavirus hurricane wildfire public-safety natural-disasters emergency-management fema

The age of stability is over, and coronavirus is just the beginning

The pandemic has exposed how vulnerable we are to unexpected climate shocks.

Wolfgang Knorr, Senior Research Scientist, Physical Geography and Ecosystem Science, Lund University • conversation
April 16, 2020 ~5 min

Tags: climate-change coronavirus anthropocene wildfire locusts heatwave desert-locust

Wildfire smoke worsens coronavirus risk, putting firefighters in extra danger

Wildfire smoke makes it harder for firefighters' bodies to fight off viral invaders. But firefighting conditions make the usual protective measures nearly impossible.

Luke Montrose, Assistant Professor of Community and Environmental Health, Boise State University • conversation
April 15, 2020 ~7 min

Tags: health covid-19 coronavirus wildfire coronavirus-2020 natural-disasters

Climate change may spark more Pacific Northwest wildfires

"We can't attribute single fire events to climate change. But the trends in large fire events... are consistent with expected trends in a warming climate."

Hannah Hickey-UW • futurity
April 8, 2020 ~5 min

Tags: climate-change wildfire forests earth-and-environment droughts

Bedroom air filters ease breathing for kids with asthma

Bedroom air filters can alleviate—and may even prevent—asthmatic flareups in children, a new study shows.

Tim Lucas-Duke • futurity
April 6, 2020 ~5 min

Tags: pollution asthma wildfire childrens-health health-and-medicine filters

California wildfires are getting more destructive

Worsening wildfires in California are part of a long-term trend "toward more wildfires that burn larger areas and cause more damage," says Andrew Plantinga.

Harrison Tasoff-UC Santa Barbara • futurity
April 1, 2020 ~4 min

Tags: wildfire california earth-and-environment

Prescribed burns help forests survive megafires

Even in extreme wildfires, thinning and prescribed burns to reduce the number of small trees and shrubs can pay off in the long run, a new study shows.

Michelle Ma-Washington • futurity
March 2, 2020 ~6 min

Tags: trees wildfire forests earth-and-environment fire

Cats burned in California wildfires also had heart problems

"These cats could be the canary in the coal mine, letting us know what might happen if more people are exposed to these types of wildfires."

Amy Quinton-UC Davis • futurity
Feb. 26, 2020 ~4 min

Tags: heart-disease wildfire cats health-and-medicine hearts

Bats might actually benefit from wildfires

Bats face many threats—but a new study shows wildfire isn't one of them. In fact, some actually benefit from it.

Kat Kerlin-UC Davis • futurity
Dec. 5, 2019 ~3 min

Tags: wildfire forests bats habitat science-and-technology

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