Western Wildfires Linked to Atlantic Ocean Temps

Laramie, WY – Scientists say the Western United States could be in for an extended period of fires like those of 2002 and 2006. They've done a study of ocean temperature cycles and wildfires - as seen in about five thousand tree trunks scarred by fire in the past 450 years. The study shows that when the North Atlantic Ocean is warming, the West gets years of major wildfires. And the North Atlantic is at the start of one of those recurring
warming periods. They can last 20 to 60 years. The findings about decade-long cycles adds a new dimension to the study of ocean temperatures, weather and wildfire. For example, scientists have long known that when the El Nino warming of South Pacific waters is strong, the Northwest typically gets drought and
severe fire seasons. The study report is in the Proceedings of the National Academy
of Sciences.