Climate Now Episode 102

June 12, 2023

This Week in Climate News: Fires, national EV charging standards, and the global stocktake

In this Episode

This Week in Climate News: One of the greatest difficulties in addressing climate change has been how invisible the crisis was. You cannot see the 40 billion metric tons of CO2 being added to the atmosphere each year, or necessarily feel that average global temperatures have risen more than 1 degree C since the late 1800’s.

But this week, for many parts of North America, the urgency of the climate crisis could be seen and felt – in people’s eyes, noses and lungs. Record breaking forest fires have consumed more than 9 million acres in Canada in the last month, and impacted air quality as far south as North Carolina.

The fires are tragic, but not a surprise, as the correlation between increasing global temperatures and forest fires could not be more direct. One clear illustration of this comes from a 2004 study of – ironically – Canadian forests.

The study showed that for every degree C departure from the 20th century temperature average, about 10 thousand square kilometers (2.5 million acres) more forest burned than a typical season. The hotter, drier and longer the summers, the more fuel available for the flames.


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