(Darryl Dick/The Canadian Press)
A firefighter hikes to a new position while battling a wildfire in Peachland, B.C., on Monday September 10, 2012.
British Columbia is facing droughts more severe than any in the past 350 years, according to new research that used tree-ring data to reconstruct the coastal climate back to the 17th century.
The study suggests recent droughts in the West – which have dried up streams, led to provincewide restrictions on water use, and triggered intense fire seasons – are likely to be surpassed by more severe events in the next few decades.
Bethany Coulthard, a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Arizona, collected tree-ring data from old-growth forests in three watersheds on Vancouver Island and one on the Lower Mainland.