Not trying to be a dick. Just saying, seeing as everything else appears to be...
The increase in the number of large western wildfires in recent years may be a result of global warming, researchers say.
I imagine as the pace of change in our atmosphere speeds up we'll see more and more scenarios of this type - changes in feeding patterns, vegetation, crop diseases, coral reefs, migration routes, etc.
The researchers used the files of the U.S. Forest Service and National Park Service to analyze 1,166 fires of more than about 1,000 acres. Their findings are published Thursday in the online edition of the journal Science.
Beginning about 1987, there was a change from infrequent fires averaging about one week in duration to more frequent ones that often burned five weeks or more, they reported. The length of the wildfire season was extended by 78 days.
The researchers said the changes appear to be linked to annual spring and summer temperatures, with many more wildfires burning in hotter years than in cooler years.
They also found a connection between early arrivals of the spring snowmelt in the mountainous regions and the incidence of large forest fires. An earlier snowmelt, they said, can lead to an earlier and longer dry season, which provides greater opportunities for large fires.
Oh well. According to those with their head in the sands, global warming will lead to increased rainfall, so I suppose this will all be a "wash"...(euw)
FYI - The research was supported by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Forest Service and the California Energy Commission.