More Wildfires

 

Higher temperatures, longer summers and more lightning from more severe storms – to say nothing of more droughts – are predicted to lead to more wildfires in the Rocky Mountains.

Researchers have predicted that climate change could double the acreage burned by wildfires in the Sierra Nevada. Scientists from Colorado State University and the University of Colorado have reached similar conclusions with respect to the one area of the Colorado mountains that has been the subject of a specific study: Rocky Mountain National Park.  

“Projections under future climate scenarios suggest that lightning ignitions will increase by 50 to 92 percent, human ignitions will increase by 3 to 30 percent, and the probability of [any one] fire exceeding 10 acres will increase by 30 to 100 percent.”

N.T. Hobbs et al., "Future Impacts of Global Climate on Rocky Mountain National Park – Its Ecosystems, Visitors, and the Economy of Its Gateway Community – Estes Park" (2003)


 
photo: Bureau of Land Management  
   
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