The Australia Letter is a weekly newsletter from our Australia bureau. Guest essay by Pasi Autio 2.2.2020. Australia has been ravaged by intense bushfires, fueled by record-breaking temperatures and drought made worse by climate change. With some people stranded for days amid shortages of food and fuel, the military has deployed ships and aircraft to bring supplies and evacuate people from fire … The Australian bushfire season of 2019-2020 is now the climate topic of the year – the severe bushfire season has caused more than 2000 houses to burn … The native trees then ignite adding to the intensity of the fire and creating more heat and fire storms that spread the fire further. Parts of Australia, including Sydney, sweltered through the hottest November night on record with temperatures likely to stay high on Sunday -- prompting authorities to issue a total fire ban. Australia has a history of severe bushfires. Not just because we are a wealthy, advanced economy that can afford to lead. Such tragedies as the Ash Wednesday fires of February 1983 (71 deaths in Victoria and South Australia), the Tasmanian fires of February 1967 (62 lives, more than 1400 houses and buildings lost) and the New South Wales bushfires of 1994, place bushfires high on the list of Australia… Australia, rather than being a laggard, should be a leader in climate action. Australia faced a devastating start to it’s fire season in late 2019, and things swiftly got worse before rains helped contain many of the worst fires in February 2020. Accidental causes such as unattended campfires contribute to a minor portion. Deliberately lighting fires or arsonists are increasing and form 25% of the ignitions of Australia. The Guardian Today (Australian edition), 20/01/2020 https: ... more intense and longer lasting fire that Australia’s native trees are unable to resist. Not just because our country is on fire. BU ecologist Michael Dietze weighs in on why the fires are more intense than ever before and how ecosystems respond and recover from fire. Australia’s average temperature in 2019 was already 2.74 degrees (1.52 degrees Celsius) above the long-term average from 1961 to 1990, and the impact on fire season is likely to get worse as … The ‘This is Not Normal’ report predicted that from 2019, the number of “very high” or “extreme” fire days could increase by 4 to 25 percent in 2020 and 15 to 70 percent by 2050. Sign up to get it by email. ... that is why his essay … The Australian … This week’s issue is written by Isabella Kwai, a reporter with the Australia bureau. There are also fires blazing in parts of Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania and Western Australia.
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