Wildfire Season Could be Longer, More Intense by 2050 Due to Climate Change

Clare Foran

A new study by a group of environmental scientists at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences indicates that climate change is causing more extreme wildfires, Risk Management reports.

The findings show that by 2050, the season during which wildfires are at their most intense could be three weeks longer than it is currently—extending from late April to mid-October. Analysis by the team of scientists also suggests that wildfires will be much larger and produce up to twice as much smoke as average fires do now.

"I think what people need to realize is that, embedded in those curves showing the tiny temperature increases year after year, are more extreme events that can be quite serious," said Loretta J. Mickley, one of the study's authors and a senior research fellow in atmospheric chemistry at Harvard.