Tuesday, December 1, 2015

BC Forest Fire Trend Indicates a Change in Climate

The data from BC forest fires seems to be showing a trend to more extreme fire seasons than previously seen.  

In 2003 we saw a change in the amount of forest burned in BC with the first very serious fire season in almost 20 years.  If 2003 had been a one off it would just be the normal occasional extreme fire year but six of the last 13 years have been extreme fire years and two more of them were bad fire years.  We have also see three instances of extreme fire yeas back to back.  The last time this happened at all was in the 1930s.

Extreme fire seasons from 1920 to 2012 (200,000+ ha) 20 of which nine were during the steam train era and six in the last 13 years.  In the 52 fire seasons from 1951 to 2002 there were only five extreme fire seasons
This graph of the rolling average of area burned over 10 years shows a dramatic rise in the last 12 years.  The spike from 1958 to 1967 is mainly due to one very extreme year.  Overall we had a general declining trend in area burned through to 2002 but since 2003 the trend has been upwards rather quickly.   The only cause for the fires seems to be due to dryer and warmer summers in BC.  The mountain pine beetle killed trees have not been a major contribution to the fires.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

A Graph of Rising Investment in Renewable Energy

I am amazed that solar power has fallen in enough in cost to be competitive with fossil fuels.   It would not take much more of a drop to make solar cheaper than this will reduce the demand for fossil fuels.