Warmest July leads to unexpected Wildfires across the continental United States
Amid reports last month was the hottest July in 117 years of recorded temperature data – now it appears the heat is effecting even areas of the Pacific Northwest. As the Seattle Times’ Shannon Dininny reported today, at least “40 homes across about 23 square miles of central Washington” have been subsumed by flames as firefighters attempted to stop the approach of the fire into other rural Washington towns.
The fire reportedly reached as close as six miles from Ellensburg – a town just 75 miles east of Seattle. While wildfire disasters have affected regions of California, Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado in past dry years – large uncontrolled fires in Washington state are a less common summer occurrence.
I reported on the US drought as it pertained to corn prices last week. Despite not being aware of the effects of drought and crop shortfalls in the west, I noticed how significant these global climate conditions are to the stability of the political systems around the world. This Washington state wildfire, while unlikely to have any major global impact, is further indication the world is warming up. Such warming is not only causing warm summers and crop shortfalls amid drought – it is also turning the world progressively more volatile – both in terms of the global environment – and in terms of the political systems underpinning the lives of the seven billion people who must live together.