Wildfires in the Western United States are getting not just more frequent, but more severe. And the reason for that, according to Professor Tony Westerling, may just be global warming. Westerling`s analysis of thirty years of data about wildfires indicates that a subtle shift in temperature may have made snow melt more rapidly – just enough to cause drier conditions during the fire season that make the land more vulnerable to frequent, severe fires.
Westerling specializes in applying statistical and economic expertise to engineering and environmental problems. He earned a Ph.D.in Economics and International Affairs from the University of California, San Diego, in 2000 and a bachelor`s degree in International Economics and Chinese Studies from UCLA in 1987.