Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios Pro Rata

Dive into the world of dealmakers across VC, PE and M&A with Axios Pro Rata. Delivered daily to your inbox by Dan Primack and Kia Kokalitcheva.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Nashville news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Nashville newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Columbus news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Columbus newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Dallas news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Dallas newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Austin news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Austin newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Atlanta news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Atlanta newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Philadelphia news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Philadelphia newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Chicago news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Chicago newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios NW Arkansas

Stay up-to-date on the most important and interesting stories affecting NW Arkansas, authored by local reporters

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top DC news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios DC newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

A fire burning through the Long Meadow Grove of giant sequoia trees in Sequoia National Forest on Sept. 21. Photo: David McNew/Getty Images

California wildfires killed between 3% and 5% of all giant sequoias this year, the National Park Service announced in new estimates on Friday.

Why it matters: The service said this level of devastation increases the risk of regeneration failure occurring in parts of Sequoia National Park, meaning the sequoias will be unable to naturally regrow.

By the numbers: NPS estimates that the KNP Complex and the Windy Fire destroyed between 2,261 and 3,637 sequoias over four feet in diameter in Sequoia and Kings Canyon national parks this year, representing 3% to 5% of the estimated total population of the trees in 2021 (~75,580)

  • These losses come on top of the mortalities from the Castle Fire in 2020, which destroyed 10% to 14% — between 7,500 to 10,600 — of all large sequoias.
  • The KNP Complex alone burned through 16 sequoia groves, while the Windy Fire tore through 11. In total, 6,109 acres of grove were burned this year.
  • These trees are ancient, as sequoias — many of which are among the largest trees by volume on Earth — can take decades to grow to over four feet in diameter.

Because of this year's losses, combined with damage from fire events last year and between 2015 and 2017, park officials are concerned the trees will struggle to naturally regenerate in certain parts of Sequoia National Park.

  • Average fires typically help giant sequoias and other trees reproduce, as they allow the trees to release their seeds and prep the soil by burning off undergrowth.
  • But extremely hot fires can burn up the seeds, damaging the species' ability to regrow. Erosion after devastating fires can also carry the seeds into areas in which they are unable to grow.
  • NPS identified 436 acres in and around Sequoia National Park as being vulnerable to total sequoia loss if regeneration from seeds that survived the KNP Complex is inadequate.
  • If it is, the park service may have to reforest around 350 of the acres.

Thought bubble, via Axios' Andrew Freedman: The damage to the massive and wondrous sequoia groves, which have withstood less intense fires for generations, underscores the ways that global warming is rapidly changing California ecosystems.

  • While the surviving sequoias will keep tourists coming and maintain the national parks, what has happened in the past two years is a trend that could continue, given climate change and long-term drought.

The big picture: Recent research has found that human-caused climate change is the main driver behind ongoing drought conditions and increased wildfire risk in the U.S. West.

  • Fourteen out of 20 of California's largest wildfires have occurred since 2010, with six out of seven happening since 2020.

Go deeper ... Poll: 52% of Americans say they've experienced effects of global warming

Go deeper

Poll: 52% of Americans say they've experienced effects of global warming

Expand chart
Data: "Climate Change in the American Mind;" Chart: Jacque Schrag/Axios

According to new results from a national poll from the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication, a record high of seven-in-10 Americans said they are at least "somewhat worried" about global warming. This beats out the findings from the same question dating back to 2008.

Why it matters: Americans are increasingly perceiving climate change as a current danger affecting them personally, a development that could shift attitudes toward federal policy.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Congressional leaders clinch support for crucial defense bill, debt limit votes

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer passes waiting reporters on Tuesday. Photo: Eric Lee/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Congress has found a shortcut to pass its annual defense funding bill and raise the debt limit.

Driving the news: The House voted Tuesday night on two major bills — one creating a one-time, fast-track process for the Senate to raise the debt ceiling with just 51 votes, and another passing its annual defense bill.

House passes annual defense bill

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The House voted to pass the annual defense bill 363-70 on Tuesday night, authorizing nearly $770 billion in funding for defenses and national security programs.

Why it matters: The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) still has to clear the Senate, but the House passage greatly increases the chances that the must-pass defense bill will move through both chambers of Congress before the end of the year.