The action in my supernatural thriller Season of the Wolf is kicked off by bark beetles. These tiny insects have laid waste to vast swaths of Western forests, hitting Colorado particularly hard. There's a link between bark beetle infestations and climate change, which, in the novel, is what brings Alex Converse, the protagonist to the small town of Silver Gap. And the wolves around Silver Gap just might be similarly driven.
Alex and the wolves are fictional. Bark beetles aren't. Neither is climate change. Scientists have been studying the connection between the bugs and the warming--and how that combination has made this year's Colorado wildfires all the more devastating.
I think fiction is most interesting when as many elements in it are as real as possible. In Season of the Wolf, most of the science is real. Even when it's not real, it doesn't strain plausibility all that much.
If the book is terrifying, that's a big part of the reason why.