Study: Climate Change can put Southwestern Wyoming at risk of Wildfires

Wednesday, 15 April, 2015 - 08:43

According to a recent study by the United States Geological Survey, it has unveiled that climate change will terribly affect southwestern Wyoming.

If this happens, it will make Wyoming quite vulnerable to wildfires and affect plant and animal life in the region. The scientists have based their estimates on forecasts for warmer temperatures and a rise in winter precipitation falling as rainfall versus snow.

In a bid to assess the changing sagebrush landscape, the researchers made use of earth observation data that was worth three decades. The researchers have also used the data to know how terribly these things will impact the nesting areas of sage grouse.

The forecast of 2006 to 2050 acts as the base for the study. This forecast projects changes in the sagebrush habitat. According to the study, researchers found that projected precipitation patterns for 2050 caused decreasing amounts of sagebrush and other shrubs, grasses, and flowering plants (forbs), while increasing the amount of bare ground.

This change will be beneficial for some like woody vegetation. The researchers were of the opinion that a change in global or regional climate patterns that has the ability to influence precipitation regime can put these ecosystems at risk.

Furthermore, it has been discovered that snow melt in the northwest region of the state will take place earlier. It could have significant consequences as state agriculture depends on the melt water. And, the melting procedure is taking place earlier than it means that there is less time for snow to get deposited on the mountains.

If there will be less snow on mountains west of the Continental Divide then it means there is less water for the western states, which is facing monumental drought. The state legislature in Wyoming has taken a step to provide teaching of climate science in public schools.

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