Inferno rages through North California, killing at least 10 people

October 10, 2017 by  
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For the past several days, 15 ferocious wildfires have been burning across at least 119,032 acres throughout Northern California . The inferno has claimed the lives of at least 10 people, a number that is expected to grow, and has torched over 1,500 homes and businesses. The scenic Wine Country counties of Napa, Sonoma, and Mendocino have been particularly hard hit. After igniting on Sunday night, the fires multiplied quickly due to the pervasive dry conditions in the area and strong winds of up to 50 MPH. In response to the raging flames consuming all in its path, 20,000 people were evacuated, many without much notice, into safer areas. In Sonoma County , the city of Santa Rosa, with a population of 125,000, has suffered serious damage. Seven of the 10 casualties from the wildfires have occurred in Santa Rosa. “That number’s going to change,” said Sonoma County Sheriff Robert Giordano. Given the ongoing search and rescue operation, “it’s just logical,” he said, that more people trapped by the fire will be found. Local landmarks destroyed by the fires include The Fountaingrove Inn and Round Barn, and sections of the Luther Burbank Center for the Arts. “I’m lucky,” said Santa Rosa Mayor Chris Coursey. “My house is fine. My family is fine. My city is not.” Related: Over 82,000 people evacuated as wildfire engulfs Southern California While Santa Rosa may have endured the most casualties so far, the most powerful fires are burning in Napa County. “I have friends fighting off fires with hoses in the hills, said Alison Crowe, winemaker for Garnet Vineyards & Picket Fence Vineyards in Napa Valley. “Thankfully a lot of my friends got out last night.” Although Crowe has not been ordered to evacuate her home in downtown Napa and the main route out of town remains open, she and her neighbors are concerned. “It’s scary,” Crowe said. “We feel surrounded.” Via CNN Images via US Department of Agriculture and Glenn Beltz

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Inferno rages through North California, killing at least 10 people

NASA map shows how climate change has set the world on fire

August 21, 2017 by  
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Devastating wildfires have blazed through Portugal, Canada, and Siberia this summer – with some people beginning to wonder if climate change will make such destructive fires normal. Maps with data from NASA’s Fire Information for Resource Management System (FIRMS) reveal a world filled with red. National Center for Atmospheric Research scientist Kevin Trenberth told DW, “A lot of these things are happening locally, but people don’t always connect them to climate change. But there is a real climate change component to this and the risk is going up because of climate change.” NASA’s FIRMS Web Fire Mapper data from the last seven days, from August 14 to August 21, shown in the map above, reveals a world on fire. DW said Europe has experienced three times the average number of wildfires in summer 2017. Spain, France, Italy, Croatia, and Greece suffered from fire as heatwaves incited dry, hot conditions. Related: This is how hot it will be in your neck of the woods if we don’t slow climate change 894,941 hectares have burned in Canada this season, according to the British Columbia Wildfire Service – in the worst season for fires since we started keeping records. People in Portugal have especially suffered: earlier in the season 64 people perished and around 2,000 people were cut off by a recent blaze surrounding Macao. Hundreds of homes were destroyed by wildfire in Siberia , and even Greenland saw a fire described as unprecedented. Some scientists are connecting these blazes to climate change, saying as temperatures rise , fires could occur more often. Trenberth told DW, “What’s really happening is that there is extra heat available. That heat has to go somewhere and some of it goes into raising temperatures. But the first thing that happens is that it goes into drying – it dries out plants and increases the risk of wildfires.” Via DW Images via FIRMS Web Fire Mapper and NASA Earthdata Facebook

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NASA map shows how climate change has set the world on fire

Mercedes-Benz unveils stunning art deco-inspired electric car

August 21, 2017 by  
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Mercedes-Benz decided to go back to the 1930s for its latest concept car, the Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 cabriolet concept. With its imposing grille and long, sensuous curves, this stunning car may be inspired by the art deco movement dating back to France before World War I, but it has a 21st century powertrain with four electric motors. At 20-feet-long, the Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 cabriolet is over five feet longer than the Nissan Leaf . At the front there’s a grille that’s inspired by a pinstripe suit, while as you move back, the extremely long hood and flowing lines are definitive of the art deco era. At the rear, Mercedes-Benz drew inspiration from a luxury yacht for the Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 cabriolet’s round “boat tail.” Related: Mercedes-Benz unveils latest Tesla Model X rival – the Generation EQ “The Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 Cabriolet takes modern luxury into the realms of the ultimate in luxury, and is the perfect embodiment of our design strategy,” explains Gorden Wagener, Chief Design Officer of Daimler AG. He adds, “Breathtaking proportions combined with a luxurious “haute couture” interior help to create the ultimate experience.” Inside, there’s only room for two passengers, but the yacht theme continues with an open-pore wood floor with inlaid aluminum. The spacious interior features a flowing aesthetic that brings exterior and interior together, a holistic design that highlights a floating, transparent center tunnel visualizing the drive system’s electrical energy flow with blue fiber optics. While the design of the Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 cabriolet concept may recall the best of the art deco era, its powertrain looks to the future. The concept is powered by four electric motors that generate a total 750 horsepower. With that much power, it could reach 60 mph in four seconds, and it has a driving range over 200 miles. Images @Mercedes-Benz + Mercedes-Benz

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Mercedes-Benz unveils stunning art deco-inspired electric car

Why the rampant wildfires in Indonesia may be the worst climate change crisis in the world

October 30, 2015 by  
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Indonesian President Joko Widodo cut his visit to the United States short this week, when he had to return home to face a severe crisis. Wildfires are ravaging Indonesia , a twisted side effect of deforestation, and smoke from the fires are creating a health hazard for people in Indonesia’s cities, in addition to releasing epic measures of greenhouse gases. As Tim McDonnell reports for Mother Jones , this might be the worst climate crisis in the world right now. Read the rest of Why the rampant wildfires in Indonesia may be the worst climate change crisis in the world

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Why the rampant wildfires in Indonesia may be the worst climate change crisis in the world

There’s not enough money to save the West from an increase in blazing wildfires

August 28, 2015 by  
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This just might be the most cataclysmic forest fire season in history. So far this year, the Forest Service has spent $800 million trying to keep the blazes from raging too far out of control. This cost amounts to more than 50 percent of their budget, draining coffers so much that they can’t perform other critical services, like forest management. Adding insurance costs, damage to buildings and infrastructure, and further damage caused by flash floods and mudslides, this year’s fire bill is estimated to ring in at around $2.5 billion. Read the rest of There’s not enough money to save the West from an increase in blazing wildfires

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There’s not enough money to save the West from an increase in blazing wildfires

“Firenado” spotted in Idaho’s massive wildfire

August 20, 2015 by  
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Idaho’s “Soda Fire” has been ablaze since August 10, consuming 280,000 acres of land in southwestern Idaho and southeastern Oregon. Last week, one of the firefighters on the front lines caught a video of a 100-foot “firenado” swirling upward toward the sky. The scene looks like something out of an apocalyptic film, yet these phenomena aren’t as uncommon as you’d think. Read the rest of “Firenado” spotted in Idaho’s massive wildfire

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“Firenado” spotted in Idaho’s massive wildfire

Massive wildfire threatens 6,300 properties north of San Francisco

August 3, 2015 by  
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The largest of 23 major wildfires currently burning in drought-stricken California has destroyed two dozen houses and 26 outbuildings, while over 12,000 people have been advised to flee their homes in the Lower Lake region. Called the Rocky Fire, the blaze is burning less than 100 miles north of San Francisco , and over 3,000 firefighters are working to contain the fast-moving blaze, which has so far consumed 93 square miles. Read the rest of Massive wildfire threatens 6,300 properties north of San Francisco

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Chevy Volt battery covers recycled as adorable nesting boxes for endangered birds

August 3, 2015 by  
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Electric cars may be better for the planet than we thought. In addition to their potential mitigating effect on climate change , their physical components are proving to be excellent homes for wildlife, such as the endangered scaly-sided merganser. A mohawked duck native to temperate East Asia, the merganser is the most recent species to have benefited from GM’s nesting boxes crafted from recycled Chevy Volt battery covers. Read the rest of Chevy Volt battery covers recycled as adorable nesting boxes for endangered birds

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Chevy Volt battery covers recycled as adorable nesting boxes for endangered birds

Tesla’s updated Model S autopilot mode will make long road trips even better

August 3, 2015 by  
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As if the Tesla Model ‘S’ wasn’t already cool enough with its semiautonomous autopilot mode, now it’s even cooler. The vehicle’s ultrasonic radar system can already sense obstacles, change lanes for you, and avoid vehicles and pedestrians – and Elon Musk just announced that the car will also be able to steer for you on the highway and parallel park. Read the rest of Tesla’s updated Model S autopilot mode will make long road trips even better

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Reforest Patagonia Aims To Plant One Million Trees in Chile

July 5, 2012 by  
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An ambitious citizen campaign called Reforest Patagonia is hoping to plant one million trees in Chilean Patagonia in what has been considered the largest, most ambitious native-tree reforestation campaign in the country’s history. Chile was ravaged by wildfires in 2011 and the scheme hopes to repopulate the country’s six national parks and reserves. Read the rest of Reforest Patagonia Aims To Plant One Million Trees in Chile Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Chile , chilean forest , deforestation , forest , forestry scheme , Google maps , Patagonia , reforest patagonia , Trees , wildfires

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