UCI, Tsinghua U.: California’s 2018 wildfires caused $150 billion in damages

Irvine, Calif., Dec. 7, 2020 — In 2018, California wildfires caused economic losses of nearly $150 billion, or about 0.7 percent of the gross domestic product of the entire United States that year, and a considerable fraction of those costs affected people far from the fires and even outside of the Golden State. For a study published today in Nature Sustainability, researchers at the University of California, Irvine, China’s Tsinghua University and other institutions combined physical, epidemiological and economic models to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the impact of the blazes.

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In fire-prone West, plants need their pollinators — and vice versa

2020 is the worst fire year on record in the United States. In the face of heartbreaking losses, effort and expense, scientists are still grappling with some of the most basic questions about how fire influences interactions between plants and animals in the natural world. A new study grounded in the northern Rockies explores the role of fire in the finely tuned dance between plants and their pollinators.

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