Anthony Westerling of Scripps Institution and colleagues found a marked uptick in forest fires in the western U.S. since the mid 1980s, with the wildfire season lengthening by 78 days over the last 15 years compared with the preceding decade and a half. Just as a weakened immune system leaves a person vulnerable to otherwise innocuous germs, the combination of logging, road construction, and intentional burning to clear forests for cattle ranches, farms, and plantations has fragmented the world's tropical forests, increasing their vulnerability to fire.
As the World Burns Janet Larsen USA Today; Jan 2010; 138, 2776; Docstoc pg. 21 Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
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