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Climate Change and Forest Fires. Is it a Coincidence or Connection?

Build an argument based on these student’s post.Date: January 17th, 2020
Climate Change and Forest FiresCoincidence or Connection?Climate change is a pressing issue in the world today. The majority of the scientific studies conducted on climate change have lead to the conclusion that earth’s temperature is rising at an alarming rate due to human activity. As a result, natural disasters such as droughts, floods, and extreme temperatures are expected to become even more common. One of the horrible events that could possibly be on the rise as a result of climate change is forest fires.The Rise of Forest FiresForest fires are not a new issue, as they have been occurring for as long as earth has had trees; however, the frequency, and damage forest fires cause may be on the rise due to climate change. Due to climate change, areas in North America that had not regularly experienced high temperatures (Alaska, Canada etc;) are now experiencing warmer weather for greater stretches of the year. With a lengthened dry season, it is likely that there will be increased incidences of forest fires in these areas. This can be seen in Mike Flannigan, Brian Stocks, Merrit Turetsky, and Mike Wotton’s journal article entitled, “Impacts of Climate Change on Fire Activity and Fire Management in the Circumboreal Forest” (2009) when the authors state, “it appears that temperature is the most important predictor of area burned in Canada and Alaska, with warmer temperatures associated with increased area burned” (Flannigan, Stocks, Turetsky, Wotton, 2009, p. 549). The authors are claiming that not only is increased temperatures impacting the occurrence and intensity of forest fires, but is actually the most important factor when considering the amount of area affected by a fire.Forest Fires Implications on Environmental HealthThere are many serious implications to humans and environment that come from increased forest fire activity. One of the environmental implications is forest regeneration. As was previously stated, forest fires are not a new concept by any means. Which means that forest life has generally been able to regrow and regenerate itself following fires. However, this ability may be changing due to climate change. One of the effects of climate change is drought. This can be seen in the article, “Changes in Precipitation with Climate Change” by Kevin E. Trenberth (2011), when the author states, “Increased heating leads to greater evaporation and thus surface drying” (Trenberth, 2011, p. 123). While the author does state later that warmer temperatures does increase atmospheric water retention, the rainfall from this retention will be scattered and inconsistent. It is in this increased drying of the ground that the concern of regeneration presents itself. In the article, “Evidence for Declining Forest Resilience to WildFires Under Climate Change” (2018), authors, Stevens-Rumman, Kemp, Higuera, Harvey, Rother, Donato, Morgan, and Veblan state, “as temperatures continue to warm, regionally and globally, climate may become the dominant control on tree regeneration” (Stevens-Rumman et al., 2018, p. 243). In this article the authors study the regeneration ability of forests in the 20th century, and then in the 21st century to see if the rising temperatures are having any effect. Upon completing research over a many year span, the results revealed, “among dry forest sites that burned prior to 2000, 68% had seedlings of any species present; this decreased significantly to 53% among dry forest sites that burned since 2000” (Stevens-Rumman et al., 2018, p. 248). This quote reveals that there was a drop of 15% in the presence of seedlings after a fire in dry forested areas. This means that there is the potential for a 15% decrease in forest cover in those areas; all the while, the seedlings that do remain will struggle to grow in the hotter and drier climate than what the previous forest experienced. Decreased forest cover will only impact the greater ecosystem these forests are apart of, as animals and smaller plants all rely on the habitat these trees create. Without them, the impact on the entire environment’s health as a whole will be severe.Actions of MitigationMitigating forest fires is an ongoing issue. Many of the fires scorching the earth’s forest today are a result of human activity. Therefore, I believe it is of most importance to teach people when they are young of the dangers that can occur when fire is not treated seriously. It is not uncommon for people, young and old, to have ‘fun’ with fire. Bonfires, fireworks, smoking, are just a few of the things humans do for entertainment that involve the use of fire. When these acts are performed with proper care in the right environment, they can be great forms of entertainment for people; however, there seems to be a lack of awareness around how dangerous these acts can be if not looked after properly.The first and most important issue that needs to be addressed is climate change. Drier forested and vegetative areas increase the likelihood of naturally occurring forest fires. The last thing that needs to happen is increasing the risk of forest fires due to unsafe human activity.I conclude that although climate change is and should be at the forefront of concerns regarding forest fires, there is a need to educate people on the risks associated with unsafe fire use. Informing more people early on in life about the dangers and propers ways of using fire will help prevent human caused forest fires in the future.PLEASE FOLLOW INSTRUCTIONS CAREFULLYINSTRUCTIONS.Each blog post and each response to a blog post must take a position on a theme(s) covered in the respective ‘eligible content’ (e.g. based on the topic and/or the course material in the case of your blog post or your peer’s blog in the case of your response). The post and response must not be a summary of that content.Your response blog should not be about the quality of the original blog post, but rather about the argument made in the blog. You may agree with what the person wrote and extend their point by adding new information, disagree and explain why, offer additional insight into the issue and so forth.Both your original blog posts and responses must build an argument. The argument of your post or response must be clearly stated early in the text, and then substantiated based on a formal engagement with evidence, examples, and ideas from your sources (which must be clearly cited using APA format). The title is important; it should be provocative but descriptive. Imagine that you are trying to entice people to read your blog post or response and not a variety of others that are on a similar topic. Your title is what will first draw potential readers to your work. The key here is to be precise with your language and your argument. For extra guidance, read blog posts from policy experts or key thinkers in the area of global environmental change.Use APA referencing format. Cite your sources properly!