“How Climate Change and Wildfires are Reshaping California’s Forests”
Thursday, May 25, 2023
5:00 p.m. reception, 6:00 p.m. lecture
James West Alumni Center, Collins Room & Patio
Summers are getting hotter, increasing the number and duration of heat waves. Within California’s forests, the extra heating accelerates atmospheric moisture extraction from dead fuels and live trees. In his talk, Professor James Randerson will discuss how recent changes in summer climate have influenced the frequency, size, and behavior of wildfires and describe the toll that drought and wildfire together has taken on forests across the state and in our local mountains, drawing upon an analysis of nearly 40 years of satellite imagery. He will conclude by sharing ideas on how to protect our remaining forests moving forward. During his talk, Prof. Randerson will explore the potential of new satellite observing systems for early fire detection, approaches for improving the efficacy and scope of prescribed fire, and priorities for assisted migration.