Most wildfires are caused by human actions, such as leaving a campfire unattended or discarding cigarettes. Wildfires can also occur naturally from lightning strikes and erupting lava.Know More
In the United States, 90 percent of wildfires are caused by humans, contributing to a total of 5 million acres of land that burn each year. Most fires begin in drought conditions, when the underbrush in forests is very dry. One spark can ignite this underbrush and start an uncontrollable fire. Wildfires can move up to 14 miles per hour and can last for weeks, threatening to burn down thousands of homes.
After a wildfire, there are no plants or trees to anchor soil. This leads to land slides which can further endanger people and their homes. Despite the danger and negative consequences of wildfires, many ecosystems depend on occasional fires, which clear away dense brush and leave fertilized soil. One of the worst fires in North America was the Great Fire of 1910, which occurred in Idaho and Montana. Severe winds combined with dry forests contributed to the fire's ferocity. The fire lasted for two days, but it killed 86 people and destroyed 3 million acres of land. In the end, it prompted Congress to give money to the National Forest Service to fight future wildfires.Learn more about Natural Resources
Campfires can reach temperatures of over 930 degrees Fahrenheit. A campfire can be one of the most useful tools when camping and can be used to cook food, keep campers warm and dry out clothes. It can, however, also be very dangerous if it is not treated with respect.Full Answer >
Put simply, droughts are caused by a prolonged depletion of precipitation in a certain ecosystem or climate over a long period of time. Unlike normal dry spells, droughts are so severe that they can thoroughly dry out vast expanses of land, like deserts. Droughts can be extraordinarily damaging and expensive to the people who live in the environments where they occur, especially in terms of the agricultural industry.Full Answer >
According to About.com, areas of low pressure within the Earth's atmosphere are caused by unequal heating across the surface and the pressure gradient force. Incoming solar radiation largely concentrates at the equator, resulting in warmer air at the lower latitudes. This warm air has a lower barometric pressure than the cooler, denser air near the poles, and the differences between these types of air create the pressure gradient force.Full Answer >
The weather phenomenon known as El Niño is caused by weakened trade winds over the Pacific Ocean. Normally, warm water is pushed to the western Pacific Ocean by the trade winds, causing cold water to rise in the eastern Pacific Ocean. Weakened winds inhibit this, causing an El Niño event.Full Answer >