Ozone-depleting chemicals and greenhouse gases pumped into the atmosphere are expected to increase the frequency of wildfires in South America, according to researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder. By studying reconstructions of tree rings, Andres Holz and Thomas Veblen found that low atmospheric pressure in the Antarctic caused by a climate oscillation -- known as the Southern Annular Mode -- leads to warmer and drier conditions in South America. "Climate models suggest an increase in SAM beginning in the 1960s due to greenhouse gas increases and Antarctic ozone depletion probably will cause this region to be drought-prone and fire-prone for at least the next 100 years," Holz said.

Related Summaries