A single, devastating California fire season wiped out years of efforts to cut emissions from the state’s top and bottom 5%.
California’s most devastating 2017 wildfire season saw the state’s top 5% (up to 1% of the population in the San Joaquin Valley) exhaust its fossil fuel emissions at an unprecedented pace.
It also saw the state’s bottom 5% exhaust its fossil fuel emissions at an unprecedented pace — the fastest rate of decline in the country.
The 2017 wildfire season was the deadliest of the state’s five-year record but it was followed the next year by the most dangerous firefighting season in California’s history, which saw nearly 100,000 personnel battling blazes.
This post uses an interactive map to show how California’s top 5% (1%, in the San Joaquin Valley) and bottom 5% (0.2%, in the Central Valley) had their carbon, methane, and nitrous oxide emissions drop the most during this single year between September 2017 and September 2018.
As can be seen in the interactive map the top 5% experienced the fastest rate of decline in their emissions during this one year and the peak emissions of the bottom 5% were almost three times as high as the peak emissions of the top 5%.
The map also shows that the top 5% had its largest emissions drop between September 2018 and September 2019, while the bottom 5%’s emissions peak emissions were less than half as large as the peak emissions of the top 5%.
In addition, as can be seen in the interactive map, the top 5% experienced the most emissions peak in September, and the top 5% had their largest drop between September 2016 and September 2017.
This post also uses an interactive map to show how California’s top 5% (in the San Joaquin Valley) and bottom 5% (in the Central Valley) have experienced their highest carbon, methane, nitrous oxide, and associated global warming emissions during one particular fire season.
As can be seen in the interactive map the top 5% experienced their highest peak emissions in September 2017 and their lowest peak emissions in June 2017.
The map also shows that during the July 2017 fire season, the San Joaquin Valley’s top 5% had their highest emissions drop (0.22%), while the top 5% in the Central Valley had their greatest decline (0.39