Melting Arctic ice sheets may be the primary cause of extreme weather around the globe. The most immediate impacts are felt in the Arctic, says Noah Diffenbaugh, but there is strong evidence of impacts on conditions experienced in California.
It is estimated that the emissions caused by Australia's wildfires are nearly double the country's annual fossil fuel emissions, according to research. "If these runaway fires become more normal, we're in for a very different world," says Rob Jackson.
Australian wildfires have released an estimate of 900 million tons of CO2 into the atmosphere. "We have seen years with extremely high carbon dioxide emissions — it's certainly not normal, but these numbers are not at all impossible," says Rob Jackson.
The Australian wildfires have become “the iconic representation of climate change impacts,” undeniable trends and unpredictable weather that created “a horrific convergence of events,” says Chris Field.
Severe wildfire conditions from heat and drought can’t be reversed and will increase if temperatures continue to warm, but different policies dealing with how to manage land vulnerable to wildfires can help reduce the risk, says Noah Diffenbaugh.