DNR weekend reading: Wildfire, climate change and those mysterious whale calls

Swakane Canyon Fire-2010
Smoke billows over the Swakane Canyon Fire near Wenatchee in 2010. Photo Danielle Munzing/DNR

Here are links to articles about natural resources, climate, energy and other topics published recently by universities, scientific journals, organizations, and other sources:

US Forest ServiceWildfire, Wildlands, and People: Understanding and Preparing for Wildfire in the Wildland-Urban Interface
People who live in the wildland-urban interface — areas near forests, grasslands and other areas exposed to wildfire — may face increasing risk and property damage from wildfires of all sizes in coming decades. Planners, developers, and others can help these communities adapt to wildfire through education, planning, and mitigation.

US Forest Service: Climate Change and Wildfire
Some studies predict that wildfires will increase by 50 percent across the United States under a changing climate, and over 100 percent in areas of the West by 2050. Of equal concern to scientists and policymakers alike are the atmospheric effects of wildfire emissions–gases, particles, water, and heat–and the affect they may have on climate.

Science DailyOrigins of Human Culture Linked to Rapid Climate Change
Rapid climate change during the Middle Stone Age, between 80,000 and 40,000 years ago, during the Middle Stone Age, sparked surges in cultural innovation in early modern human populations, according to new research.

Earthfix/KUOW: Underwater Earthquake Recordings Reveal Mysterious Whale Calls
Researchers from the University of Washington have discovered that earthquake-detecting sensors off Vancouver Island also can monitor the swimming patterns of fin whales, the second-largest animal, after the blue whale but still a mystery to many.

Scientific American: Why Manhattan’s Green Roofs Don’t Work–and How to Fix Them
City rooftops covered with vegetation are seen as a way to reduce the urban heat-island effect and cut energy usage–but so far, the results have been unimpressive. With some simple, lost-cost modifications, many rooftop forests can do a better job.

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