Alaska’s wildfires create disastrous loop of climate change
September 1, 2015
Alaska is warming at twice the rate of southern latitudes, priming its forests to burn and create even more warming
President Obama arrived in Alaska Monday to meet with foreign ministers from Arctic nations to discuss climate change, and to speak with Alaskans who are already being affected by a climate that is heating up twice as fast as lower latitudes. One of the most obvious impacts of a warming Arctic is an increase in the intensity and length of Alaska’s wildfire season. This year, more than 5.1 million acres have burned, the second largest amount of forests ever lost in a summer. But the season still isn’t over and two more fires started over the weekend. In an excerpt from America Tonight, correspondent Jake Ward visits firefighters along the Yukon River who are on the front lines of the battle to contain Alaska’s wildfires, and talks with a scientist who is using more than 100 years of data to make some startling predictions about the future.