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Earth Matters

Blazing Hangout

August 7th, 2013 by Mike Carlowicz

Wildfires follow a simple but dangerous equation: Hotter, dryer conditions + more people in the world = a greater likelihood of ferocious wildfires threatening lives and property.

Fires in the western United States are burning earlier, longer and with more intensity, as shown by a decades-long record from ground surveys and NASA satellites. How much of this is due to climate change? And how do scientists see this trend developing in the coming decades, as temperatures rise, seasons shift, and precipitation patterns change?

Join researchers online at 1 p.m. EDT (10 a.m. PDT) on Friday, Aug. 9, for a NASA Google+ Hangout that will explore these questions. The Hangout will feature:

  • Doug Morton, research scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center
  • Bill Patzert, research scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory
  • Elizabeth Reinhardt, national program leader for fire research, research and development, Office of the Climate Change Advisor, U.S. Forest Service

The panelists will take questions from the press and the public during the Hangout. Submit questions on Google+, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook or other social media channels in advance and during the event using the hashtag #NASAFire. The URL for the hangout is

You can also find some background and imagery on wildfires here on the Earth Observatory.

+ Natural Hazards: Fires

+ Natural Disasters and NASA

+ World of Change: Burn Recovery in Yellowstone

+ Aerosols: Tiny Particles, Big Impact

+ Finding a Fire Cloud from Space




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