Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The Cost of Global Warming

At least a portion of the destruction in the past few days and near future can be blamed on global warming.

Drought and warmer winters have made turned the natural presence of bark beetles in the San Bernardino Mountains, much of which is National Forests, into an epidemic and extreme fire hazard.

Trees weakened by drought and pollution are less likely to produce enough sap to expel boring beetles. Warmer winters means that more bark beetle eggs will survive to adulthood. The lack of natural fires and prescribed burns also creates over growth that contributes to an unnatural buildup of fuel.

Here is a map of Bark Beetle infestation in the San Bernardino Mountains.

The above map is from the San Bernardino County Museum.

Apologies for the size, I couldn't find a better one. You should be able to click on it to make it bigger.

Between the two main lakes, at the edge of the western swath of pink and red, you should be able to make out where the 18 - the highway that runs from Lake Arrowhead to Big Bear Lake - meets the 330 - the middle road leading from the mountains to the valley. That's where Running Springs is.

This is the current fire damage in Running Springs.

The above map is from rimoftheworld.net. Since residents are using that site to get updates, and the site administrators have taken everything down except the fire updates in order to deal with the demand, please wait until the fire is contained before clicking through.

You can see that the burn area overlaps the beige and lighter pink area on the first map. The latest reports are that the fire is moving towards Lake Arrowhead. (The western lake.) So it's burning along the pink area, not toward the beige and green area.

The Lake Arrowhead fire is on the western edge of the lake, the fire area overlaps the pink and dark pink areas on the first map.

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