Temperature levels are increasing at a faster rate than ever before and this is one of the major impacts of climate change. As stated in the IPCC Fifth assessment report (2013), the previous three decades caused global warming to make the Earth’s surface warm and has largely affected countries in the northern hemisphere; nevertheless, humidity has risen in many parts of Europe, North America and Australia as the intensity of heat waves have elevated.
3.3.1. Forest and wildfires
Forests have been affected by this rise in temperature as the natural interactions between the species in the ecosystem have gone through disturbances which carry the potential to change the structure and function of this biome. One of the main tribulations faced by forests are spread of fires which can impair the process of chemical cycling, change the fertility of the soil and root layer, pave a path for erosion and deteriorate the existence of several organisms (Dale et al., 2001). To illustrate, Reuter (2010) reported that around 7000 forest fires had surfaced on the lands of Russia in 2010 with radioactive particles dispersed in the surrounding areas which killed about 56,000 people. Due to the prevalence of soaring winds during this calamity, there is a rise in the level of oxygen blazing the fire as it not only dries up the surface moisture but spreads it across other quarters.
Apart from this, changes in atmospheric conditions which reduce rainfall and human interventions such as deforestation, cattle grazing and extensive farming has led to drought conditions in many places. In 2016, Ethiopia faced a severe drought in the gorge pasture areas as well as in the neighborhood which resulted in 5.6 million people requiring emergency food aid and 9.2 million people in search of purified drinking water (ReliefWeb, 2018). The extent to which a drought can affect a region tends to depend on the soil quality, the species present, the recurrence and the interval for which the drought exists. In many cases, a rigorous drought slows down the decomposition system and leads to all organic matter building up on the forest floor, increasing the chances of forest fires occurring. Because such a disturbance of heat wave causes net primary production and water use to decrease, most of the primary producers die.