Old Faithful is a geyser in Yellowstone National Park, named after its regularity in erupting hot water and steam, fed by the geothermal activity of the Yellowstone supervolcano underneath.
In the last several decades, scientists have observed that Old Faithful’s interval between eruptions has changed considerably, stretching from about 60-65 minutes in the 1950s to about 90-94 minutes since 2001.
A geyser’s eruption is feed by a complex, underground vent system filled with water. As the magma in the underground heats up the groundwater, steam pressure will build up until it is sufficient to trigger a steam eruption on the surface. According to the scientists, no major changes have occurred in the thermal state of Yellowstone, excluding this factor as an explanation for the delay in Old Faithful’s eruptions. Another possible factor controlling geyser activity
Simultaneous heatwaves and droughts are becoming increasingly common in western parts of the Unites States, according to a new study led by researchers from McGill University. Periods of dry and hot weather, which can make wildfires more likely, are becoming larger, more intense, and more frequent because of climate change.
In a study published by Science Advances, the researchers analyzed heat and drought events across the contiguous United States over the past 122 years. They found that combined dry and hot events have not only increased in frequency, but also in size geographically. Where such events were once confined to small parts of the United States, now they cover whole regions, such as the entire west coast and parts of the Northeast and Southeast.
“Dry-hot events can cause large fires. Add wind and a source of ignition, and this results in ‘megafires’ like the 2020 fires across the west
In recent years — and 2020 is no exception — parts of the Pacific Northwest that are typically too wet to burn are experiencing more frequent, severe and larger wildfires due to changes in climate. New research from Portland State University found that while the increased wildfire activity is causing widespread changes in the structure and composition of these mid-to-high elevation forests, the new landscapes are also likely more resilient to projected upward trends in future fire activity and climate conditions.
The study, led by PSU graduate student Sebastian Busby, examined temperate forests that burned expansively, severely and repeatedly between 2003 and 2015 in the central Cascade Range of Oregon and Washington. On Mt. Adams, these wildfires included the 2008 Cold Springs, 2012 Cascade Creek and 2015 Cougar Creek fires. On Mt. Jefferson, the wildfires included the 2003 Booth and Bear Butte Complex, 2007 Warm Springs Area Lightning Complex and