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What makes 2020 such a severe fire year for the western United States?

Ever wonder why there are good fire years and bad fire years when every year is a hot year? Climate change is important, but only part of the story.
As climate variability increases with atmospheric carbon, annual variation may increase leading to more intense fire years following wet winters in the western United States.
The secret ingredient? Water. Wet years cause a buildup of fuels because plants in drylands because plants can access nutrients to grow better than in dry years. So a wet year followed by a dry year produced conditions perfect for fire.

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By K.T. Strain

Katie Strain is a texan, plant enthusiast, and Ph.D. student studying Evolution, Ecology and Conservation biology.

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