On a recent CASM “Climate Conversation,” Bill Selby, a geographer and retired SMC professor, shred insights with CASM youth and Steering members to make sense of the recent fires.  

Excessive burning fossil fuels traps heat energy in the atmosphere causing instability and extreme weather events to occur more frequently.  This has been predicted for decades and is  what we are experiencing now.

The multitude of lightning strikes that ignited recent fires was the result of a bizarre weather pattern:  a tropical storm settled over California, uniting humidity with hot temperatures.  The storm’s significant energy generated lightning, but not enough rain to overcome the heat and suppress fire.

Our environment is changing:  forests, which were moderately dry before are changing into chaparral and oak woodlands.  Our oak woodlands are changing into grasslands, and our grasslands are becoming deserts.  This process of might normally happen over many many centuries, but it is happening over decades now.  More frequent fires are accelerating the change.

Want to learn more?  Visit Bill Selby’s blog, Rediscovering the Golden State Want to get notices of upcoming CASM Climate Conversations?   Have a topic you would like to learn more about? Shoot us an email!  climateactionsantamonica@gmail.com

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