2007 Continues Record-Setting Trend; Some Scientists Draw Global Warming Link
USA — More than 8 million acres of land has been burned by wildfires in the United States this year, according to the latest tally from theNational Interagency Fire Center.
Its the fourth year in a row that more than 8 million acres have burned a striking statistic when one considers that the nation had never recorded a toll of more than 8 million acres before 2004, and since then every year has seen at least that many acres burned. For a list of acreage burned each year since 1960, click here.
The 2007 fire season is on pace to rank second, next to 2006, and slightly behind 2005, based on year-to-date figures.
Climate models have predicted that global warming will increase the likelihood of more frequent and intense fires, as snowfall diminishes, land dries out and temperatures increase. At least one research paper correlated the increase in fire activity already seen to climate change, as well suggesting that the effects of global warming wont be felt in the future. They are being felt now.