US President Trump was unable to agree with the Governor and his climate advisor on the cause of the fires when he visited California, a state ravaged by forest fires. According to the President, the main cause of the flames is poor forest management.
Trump does not believe that climate change plays a major role in the forest fires. When Governor Gavin Newsom‘s climate advisor Wade Crowfoot addressed the President at a briefing, he said that “it’s going to cool down, just watch“.
Crowfoot did not leave it at that and reacted with the words ‘I would like science to agree with you’.
Trumps replied: ‘I do not think science knows what the situation is’:
Since last month in the states of California, Washington and Oregon, over a million and a half hectares of forest have gone up in flames, along with thousands of houses. At least 35 people have also died.
The fires have also become a feature of the November presidential elections. Trumps Democratic rival Joe Biden called the president a ‘climate arsonist’ because he does not appreciate the impact of global warming on forest fires. “If we get another four years of Trumps climate denial, how many more residential areas will burn down,” he wondered in a speech in Delaware.
Climate change and forest fires
For a long time scientists were reluctant to make a link between natural fires and global warming. At the beginning of 2020, the international research group World Weather Attribution came up with a study showing the relationship between climate change and forest fires in Australia.
According to the researchers, the likelihood of large-scale forest fires has increased by at least 30% since the beginning of the last century. As a result of global warming, there are more and more heat waves. As a result of these extremely high temperatures, much more water evaporates in a short period of time. And as a result of this evaporation, moisture is drawn from branches, leaves and soil. If lightning or sparks from electricity wires strike that dry environment, a forest fire occurs.