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An air tanker drops a load of flame retardant in a vain effort to keep the Wallow Fire from becoming the largest in Arizona history. Climate experts said rising temperatures will spawn more fires.

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Still-rising average temperatures fuel deadly, unpredictable weather

Arizona catches fire. The drought returns. The monsoons flicker. The streams dwindle. The spring goes bone dry. Tornadoes touch down on the Rim. What the heck’s going on around here? A rush of new climate studies suggest that the steady rise of global temperatures has already ushered in dramatic and unpredictable weather patterns — inflicting a sputtering drought in the Southwest at the same time it floods the Mississippi and sends tornadoes rampaging across the Midwest.

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