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Megadrought ‘taxing’ the US water reservoir and setting it on fire Weather News

Climate change for many years drought the western United States is drying up water reservoirs and contributing to the onset of the fire season, scientists say.

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According to Drought Monitoring in the US, in the west, is experiencing a severe drought. This has been going on for more than two decades, leading scientists to call it “megadrought”.

“The southwestern United States is experiencing a prolonged drought, or decline, as we have not seen in recent years,” said John Abatzoglou, an associate professor at the University of California at Climate Change.

Water gushes from a tap near a boat harbor on dry land in Browns Ravine Cove in a drought-stricken area of ​​Folsom Lake, currently 37 percent of its full-time capacity, in Folsom, California, May 22, 2021 [Josh Edelson/AP Photo]

“In the west this year, there is a part of the sky that is experiencing a drought,” Abatzoglou said. In the last winter and spring, hurricanes and scorching heat meant snow in the mountains, which causes the soil to dry out faster, he said.

Wildfires threatening Arizona ranches

Arizona, which hosts the hottest summer season, has the largest and largest firefighting in the state so far this year, according to the National Interagency Fire Center. Seven fires burned 270,000 hectares (109,265 hectares) across the region. The hot, dry heat has prompted the Bureau of Land Management to issue fire prevention regulations.

Firefighters are struggling to put out the worst wildfire, the Telegraph Fire, in the Tonto National Forest and the mountains east of Phoenix, which has burned some 166,000 hectares (67,178 hectares). It is now 72 percent but continues to threaten neighboring areas.

Armando Rodriguez, a mountaineer specialist in Winkelman, Arizona, told Al Jazeera that he could see the smoke high up in the mountains. Muslims have warned locals and others nearby to be prepared.

Smoke billows rising from a blaze as a wildfire erupts in Arizona, June 7, 2021, in this photo shoot. [Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management/via Reuters]

“Everyone is packing up and getting ready for the green lights when they are about to leave,” Rodriguez said by telephone on Thursday.

If people are ordered to evacuate, they are planning to ask neighbors to help them pick up 500 head of cattle, starve them, and steer them.

His family has been managing farms in the area since the 1960s. “We don’t know,” he said of a wildfire.

In April, flames engulfed a nearby area of ​​Dudleyville, setting fire to at least 12 homes and forcing 200 people to flee, according to the Associated Press.

“We’ve experienced fires, floods, so it’s not new to us, but it looks like this year it’s been happening more often,” Rodriguez said.

Blaming climate change

It is unknown at this time what he will do after leaving the post office. He is expected to address the root causes of the drought, Abatzoglou said.

Global warming causes rain to fall as rain instead of snow, which changes the flow of water (the movement of water from oceans into the atmosphere to the earth and back), he said. Our hot climate also contributes to dryness and water retention.

“Heat is like long-term taxes on the western water budget,” he explained.

Scientists are looking forward to another catastrophic wildfire season in California.

Lack of rain and snow bag means that crops throughout the area are dry, fragrant and ready to burn, says Craig Clements, director of Wildfire Interdisciplinary Research Center at San Jose State University. This means that the government will look at the past fire season, the fire is starting to be dangerous in the summer and fall, he said.

Clements says a number of factors are contributing to wildfires in California: carelessness has left forests dense with trees and brushes. Wildfires are part of the ecological cycle, but he explained that “we have not allowed a fire in our universe for a hundred years.”

Now, climate change is drying up the extra fuel, which is why there are so many tinder ready to burn and burn.

In Arizona, Rodriguez hopes it will rain, and prays for the safety of his area. “Shout out to all firefighters and first responders who are helping right now, God be with them, I believe no one will be harmed,” he said.

“The longer the fire goes, the more the animal breathes, and the more it burns,” he added.

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