Researchers from the University of California, Irvine and NASA have uncovered a remarkably strong link between high wildfire risk in the Amazon basin and the devastating hurricanes that ravage North Atlantic shorelines. The climate scientists’ findings appear in the journal Geophysical Research Letters near the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina’s calamitous August 2005 landfall at New Orleans.
UCI Earth system science researchers Yang Chen and Jim Randerson, along with NASA colleagues, are predicting an above-average wildfire risk in the eastern Amazon region and an average to below-average fire risk in the western Amazon for the upcoming dry season.
For a better understanding of how forest fires behave and interact with climate, scientists are turning to the trees. A new study out of UC Irvine shows that differences in individual tree species between Eurasia and North America alter the continental patterns of fire – and that blazes burning the hottest actually cool the climate.