After weeks of battling three massive wildfires, crews are expected this week to finally squelch blazes that have burned houses and millions of acres of forest in southern and eastern Arizona, driving thousands of residents from their homes. Last summer, east and southeast Texas saw record wildfires that cost the state millions of dollars, and the smoke and heat from wildfires that torched western Russia killed more than 50,000 people. Is climate change responsible for an uptick in global wildfires? What effect are these fires having on ecosystems? And are these fires going to get worse?
Join us on this page for a live chat at 3 p.m. EDT on Thursday, 30 June to discuss wildfire and climate change. You can leave your questions in the comment box below before the chat starts.
Thomas Kolb is a professor of Forest Ecophysiology at the School of Forestry, Northern Arizona University. His research is in tree ecophysiology, which focuses on understanding environmental controls on the distribution, abundance, and productivity of forest plants from a physiological perspective.
Matthew Hurteau is an Assistant Research Professor at Northern Arizona University. He holds a PhD in Ecology from the University of California, Davis. His research focus is on climate change mitigation and adaptation in fire-prone forests.