Global team of scientists determine ‘fingerprint’ for how much heat, drought is too much for forests

A new study has compiled a global database of climate-induced forest die-off events, from 1970-2018, across 675 locations. After analyzing the climate conditions at each location during each event, researchers found a common ‘hotter-drought fingerprint’ for Earth’s forests, a term that describes the combination of higher temperatures and more frequent droughts for a lethal set of climate conditions. Under further warming, this hotter-drought fingerprint will appear more frequently — the authors conclude that limiting Earth’s warming will determine survivability for many of Earth’s forests.

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