Climate extremes lasting months or years could reduce plant productivity, which governs Earth’s capacity to produce food, fiber and fuel. Plus, events such as wildfires could generate bursts of emissions from carbon stored in forests.
The team used the open-source Community Earth System Model to simulate multiple variables, which enabled a holistic understanding of how climatic conditions interact.
“Our results suggest that meteorological extremes will become more frequent, intense and widespread due to the compound effect of high temperature, drought and fire,” said ORNL’s Bharat Sharma. “Tropical regions may face these to the most extreme degree.” — Reece Brown