In the News

October 20, 2022

2020 California Wildfires Erased 16 Years Of Climate Advances

AQLI data included in piece covering a study on the impact of wildfires on climate change.

According to new research, climate change is not just a result of the Western wildfires of recent years, but also a growing cause of the issue.

According to a study published online Monday in the journal Environmental Pollution, the greenhouse gas emissions generated by California’s wildfires in 2020 were equal to or exceeded the amount that the state had reduced between 2003 and 2019. The record amount of acres burnt in California’s wildfires in 2020 effectively nullified the state’s 16 years of climate change mitigation efforts, which included the transition away from fossil fuels and toward renewable energy sources…

…According to a study published in June by the Air Quality Life Index, wildfire smoke in 2020 was so awful that it temporarily negated the improvements in air quality brought about by decades of federal and state legislation in California. Dangerously high levels of particulate matter were present over the whole state, and 29 of the 30 counties in the United States with the worst particle pollution that year were located in California. Since satellite measurements started in 1998, half of the state’s counties have had the worst air pollution.

Continue reading at California Examiner…