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Tahoe wildfire

dblskifanatic

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Sad thing is this country has no problem building transcontinental oil and gas pipelines, but water? I mean its not like the US doesn't have enough, its the distribution thats the issue. And its not going to get better.

You could pipe in all the water you want - that is not the issue. The areas that burn are very dry and consist primarily of fir trees which make the perfect fuel unlike deciduous trees. In Colorado it can rain a lot and the roads are dry almost immediately. The ground is so dry that the water just runs off.

The Columbia and Colorado rivers flow west from the Continental Divide to the Pacific Ocean, while the Missouri River, the Mississippi River, and the Rio Grande flow east from the Continental Divide to the Atlantic Ocean. So the very areas that are burning get covered with snow and the snow melt runs away from these areas. When they dry up the fires start sometimes sooner.
 

machski

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Some shots today of the Caldor fire.

PXL_20210902_184259357.jpg

As seen from the North at 43000'.

PXL_20210902_184414777.jpg
Flying into Truckee from San Fran at 19000'
PXL_20210902_212136840.jpg

Ok in Truckee itself and NorthStar
PXL_20210902_220952738.jpg
Though the smoke did loom just behind the SouthEast Ridgeline
PXL_20210902_220958325.jpg
 

p_levert

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Sierra at Tahoe has a bunch of cams: https://www.sierraattahoe.com/live-cams/. Still looking rather hellish.

As you can see from the cams, there are plenty of intact trees. Assuming the lifts are ok, and there are no further fire passes, it should be an ok experience this winter.
 

raisingarizona

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The forests that are burning now aren’t predicted to come back as we have known them, at least not during our lifetimes.

This is all part of climate change predictions. For instance, areas of for and ponderosa are being replaced by first gen regrowth of juniper, pinyon and oak. The high desert ecosystems are moving upward in elevations. Aspens are also part of first gen regrowth but at those particular elevations mostly only on the north facing aspects. Forestry experts don’t believe we are going to see that change much for a very long time, that makes sense if it continues to get warmer.

Who really knows what’s going to happen though? It’s all uncharted territory.
 

machski

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The forests that are burning now aren’t predicted to come back as we have known them, at least not during our lifetimes.

This is all part of climate change predictions. For instance, areas of for and ponderosa are being replaced by first gen regrowth of juniper, pinyon and oak. The high desert ecosystems are moving upward in elevations. Aspens are also part of first gen regrowth but at those particular elevations mostly only on the north facing aspects. Forestry experts don’t believe we are going to see that change much for a very long time, that makes sense if it continues to get warmer.

Who really knows what’s going to happen though? It’s all uncharted territory.
The problem with blaming fires solely on climate change is how they start. 95% are han caused, which has ZERO to do with climate change. Now I grant, warmer/dryer stretches will allow for more rapid propagation once started. But many also cite decades of mismanagement of California forests as a cause of what we are seeing now as well.
 

raisingarizona

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The problem with blaming fires solely on climate change is how they start. 95% are han caused, which has ZERO to do with climate change. Now I grant, warmer/dryer stretches will allow for more rapid propagation once started. But many also cite decades of mismanagement of California forests as a cause of what we are seeing now as well.
I don’t think anyone is doing that, at least anyone with half a brain.

it’s a complete tossed poop salad really. White people moved into the west, saw the forest as a valuable resource (timber) and decided to preserve it for future harvesting. We grew accustomed to the protected, overgrown forests and incorrectly over time perceived that as normal and attractive.

The denial crowd though loves the bad management argument. It’s a nice and convenient way to place the blame instead of on ourselves. The FS has been under pressure to to protect those resources and like all of us, have been learning as well. It wasn’t too long ago that the Yellowstone park rangers promoted feeding grizzly bears from car windows. In more recent times the forestry science has improved and they have been scrambling to better manage the forest, often getting their hands tied by environmental groups, lawsuits and a severe lack of funding. Clinton era policies such as NEPA can make efforts ridiculously difficult, expensive and time consuming even though they were put in place with good intentions. Too much government and too much policy often has that unfortunate effect.

So, here we are with an overgrown, unhealthy forest that no longer regularly burns at low levels of intensity but explodes super hot. We have way too many people living in these areas and recreating in them. The human factor is not exempt in climate change and human caused fires are a key ingredient to this shit salad. In my opinion, this just proves how impactful we are on a rapidly changing climate.

Prolonged droughts, human caused fires, erratic weather patterns are all part of predictions going back 30 or 40 years now. What’s really crazy to me is how it’s not just the fires themselves but the post impacts of high intensity burns near population centers. Some areas will likely be inhabitable eventually from reoccurring flooding and mud/land slides. We’ll keep trying to move back into these areas but eventually it will probably not be economically viable. The more devastating natural events we get the more taxing it’s going to be on our overall economy.

This shit is real, it’s probably still fairly easy living in the north east to not fully grasp the effects we are all facing but out here, in the south west and California it’s basically ground zero for climate change impacts and it’s going to hit everyone.
 
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raisingarizona

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I gotta add, I’m no psychologist but there’s gotta be something to the human brain that desires to paint everything as black and white. Hardly anything in our world is ever that simple as far as I can tell.

I mean, look at how so many people look at politics, people love to talk about the climate during x president or current conditions under y president. F that’s simple and I’m not political science guy but I can’t help but feel there’s a lot more to it all.

I guess I’m not very impressed by humans and their intelligence. For such a smart animal we have a really hard time breaking away from hueristic short cuts and can’t ever grasp big picture thinking or long term consequences. So yeah, I’m not very hopeful.
 

BenedictGomez

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The problem with blaming fires solely on climate change is how they start. 95% are han caused, which has ZERO to do with climate change.

The fires are man caused not just literally by man's immediacy, but also man's long-term actions, just not by Global Warming, at least not in any preponderance of a way.

This is what happens after decade upon decade of knocking back forest fires. I'm not saying just let em' all run wild, but preventing nature from burning has consequences, and this is the consequence. Drought + Decades of Smokey the Bear putting out fires = Hellacious fires. If a bolt of lightning hit California 200 years ago, it would burn a lot of acres, now it gets "put out" after minimal (thankfully) damage. But that means when the next fire starts there's no "break" for it to hit and naturally meet resistance. This is all very obvious, this is all very well-known, but if we can blame it on "Climate Change" we have a political "win", so go with that instead.
 
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raisingarizona

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The fires are man caused not just literally by man's immediacy, but also man's long-term actions, just not by Global Warming, at least not in any preponderance of a way.
This is what happens after decade upon decade of knocking back forest fires. I'm not saying just let em' all run wild, but preventing nature from burning has consequences, and this is the consequence. Drought + Decades of Smokey the Bear putting out fires = Hellacious fires. If a bolt of lightning hit California 200 years ago, it would burn a lot of acres, now it gets "put out" after minimal (thankfully) damage. But that means when the next fire starts there's no "break" for it to hit and naturally meet resistance. This is all very obvious, this is all very well-known, but if we can blame it on "Climate Change" we have a political "win", so go with that instead.
again, hardly anyone with half a brain is blaming these fires solely on climate change. As well as anyone with critical thinking skills isn’t solely blaming the current circumstances on poor management. It’s no different to use the management argument to dismiss climate change. People choosing one or the the other are no different than each other, it’s more us vs. them simpleton cave man thinking and imo our biggest hurdle as a society right now.
 

kingslug

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Considering the age of this planet..we haven't been around all that long. We aren't as evolved as some believe. We're changing the planet..but in time it will change back..once we are gone.
Easy living in the NE changed yesterday when NYC and other areas went under water...getting sporty out there these days.
 

slatham

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You could pipe in all the water you want - that is not the issue. The areas that burn are very dry and consist primarily of fir trees which make the perfect fuel unlike deciduous trees. In Colorado it can rain a lot and the roads are dry almost immediately. The ground is so dry that the water just runs off.

The Columbia and Colorado rivers flow west from the Continental Divide to the Pacific Ocean, while the Missouri River, the Mississippi River, and the Rio Grande flow east from the Continental Divide to the Atlantic Ocean. So the very areas that are burning get covered with snow and the snow melt runs away from these areas. When they dry up the fires start sometimes sooner.
Yeah sorry didn't mean to imply piping water would help the fire situation. That is a weather (short term) and climate (long term) issue.

It would however help alleviate the issues for people and farming caused by droughts.
 

deadheadskier

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Wonder where the money is better spent. Water pipelines or desalination plants. If you could cut out California's reliance on water upstream, it would greatly benefit the Colorado water basin.
 

ThatGuy

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Desalination would definitely be the better long term solution. Piping the water from a ground-source is a twofold problem of who has the rights to the water and what happens if the source dries up. At least with desalination we don’t have to worry about the oceans going anywhere soon (hopefully). One problem is the widespread pervasion of micro-plastics into the ocean and their possible effects on humans though. Also the myriad of other pollutants in the worlds oceans (shipping, Fukushima). The coming decades will definitely be interesting for humanity between climate change and us destroying the planet ourselves. My selfish hope is that skiing in the northeast will still be a possibility in 50 years.
 

raisingarizona

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Desalination would definitely be the better long term solution. Piping the water from a ground-source is a twofold problem of who has the rights to the water and what happens if the source dries up. At least with desalination we don’t have to worry about the oceans going anywhere soon (hopefully). One problem is the widespread pervasion of micro-plastics into the ocean and their possible effects on humans though. Also the myriad of other pollutants in the worlds oceans (shipping, Fukushima). The coming decades will definitely be interesting for humanity between climate change and us destroying the planet ourselves. My selfish hope is that skiing in the northeast will still be a possibility in 50 years.
Skiing in the north east 50 years from now may still be possible on a few extremely expensive hills on man made snow for a month or two every few years, or that’s where it seems it’s headed.

I just hope my daughter doesn’t have to run around like Sarah O’Connor from robots sent back in time to assassinate her.
 

thebigo

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Desalination would definitely be the better long term solution.
There was a good degree of subsea wave powered desalination research conducted for a number of years, it was funded by the US DOE. I was sub-contracted to consult on the work. There were parallel projects in the UK and Spain. It is entirely feasible from a mechanical perspective and relatively low cost but the research money has dried up over the last year.
 

machski

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Skiing in the north east 50 years from now may still be possible on a few extremely expensive hills on man made snow for a month or two every few years, or that’s where it seems it’s headed.

I just hope my daughter doesn’t have to run around like Sarah O’Connor from robots sent back in time to assassinate her.
Skiing in the NE will still be a thing in 50 years. Not that I will likely be around to verify, hopefully at the 40 mark at least.
 
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