Timing of Droughts, Heat Waves Influences Ecosystem Effects
The timing of extreme precipitation events and heat waves makes a big difference on how they affect ecosystems, according to a new study in PNAS. Using data from a long-term ecological research site in Kansas, researchers found that high temperatures reduced grassland productivity only during late July, while drought and high-intensity precipitation reduced grassland productivity most during early June. They found no effects from extreme precipitation events or heat waves on grass productivity in August. Science Daily reports that this study suggests that future projections need to include both how the climate will change and when during the year the changes occur.