How the U.S. fights forest fires and why innovation is needed

Some of the largest wildfires ever recorded are raging across the west. Millions of acres have burned in California, Oregon and Washington. Smoke has reached as far as Europe. 

Firefighters like Michael Seaton, who lost his home in the deadly 2018 Camp Fire, have worked more than a month straight.

“So you’re out on the line for two days and you’re sleep deprived out there. So I’ve seen people standing up with their eyes closed and they’re basically asleep,” said Seaton, a CAL FIRE engineer.

“All of this is on the heels of wildfire emergencies in 2019, 2018 and 2017 that points to the pattern of how climate warming is predisposing large landscapes to unprecedented fire activity,” said Doug Morton, Chief of NASA’s Biospheric Sciences Laboratory.

Heat waves and drought have left a thick layer of dry vegetation easily sparked by people and lightning. Although nearly 85% of wildland fires

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Protection needed for emerging mining hotspots

Protection needed for emerging mining hotspots
Mining hotspots identified by the researchers on world map. Credit: University of Queensland

Growing demand for metals necessary for the transition to a low carbon future will lead to more mining in high-risk areas, according to University of Queensland research.


Dr. Éléonore Lèbre and researchers from UQ’s Sustainable Minerals Institute identified mining “hotspots” by looking at areas where competition over mining resources such as water and land is likely to negatively impact surrounding communities.

“Past research has raised concerns about the environmental, social and governance pressures that come from increased mining but they have never assessed the risks on a global scale using quantitative data,” Dr. Lèbre said.

“By applying seven categories of risk—three environmental, three social and one governance indicator—we were able to map where these mining hotspots would exist and the metals involved. All the metals we analyzed are necessary for the transition to a low-carbon future. Some

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To reach the Paris climate goals, decade-long measures are needed — ScienceDaily

Based on current data measured in the energy, industry, and mobility sectors, restrictions of social life during the corona pandemic can be predicted to lead to a reduction of worldwide carbon dioxide emissions by up to eight percent in 2020. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), cumulative reductions of about this magnitude would be required every year to reach the goals of the Paris Agreement by 2030. Recent measurements by researchers of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) revealed that concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere has not yet changed due to the estimated emission reductions. The results are reported in Remote Sensing (DOI: 10.3390/rs12152387).

The corona pandemic has changed both our working and our private lives. People increasingly work from home, have video conferences instead of business trips, and spend their holidays in their home country. The lower traffic volume also reduces CO

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