How climate change is contributing to Western wildfires

(Original air date Sept. 16, 2020) Today on “In the Hive,” the ongoing western wildfire season has challenged the literal meaning of the proverb “where there’s smoke there’s fire.” Because, as Utahns have come to understand very well this summer, smoke can travel a long way from its point of origin.

Climate scientist Peter Gleick says there’s a clear link between the size and intensity of blazes that are the source of the smoke and the changes to the planet’s climate caused by the burning of fossil fuels. Drought and higher temperatures in the West have made the past several fire seasons especially bad, and Gleick says, unfortunately, we should expect it to keep getting worse.

Dr. Peter Gleick, climate scientist and founder of the Pacific Institute for Studies in Development, Environment, and Security in Oakland, California