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Climate change is bringing a new world of bushfires

Dale Dominey-Howes writes in The Conversation (11.9.19) about the bushfires currently devastating parts of southeast Queensland and northern New South Wales. The author notes that climate change makes every risk factor for major bushfires worse, which means massive, intense fires will only become more likely.

'Spring has barely arrived, and bushfires are burning across Australia’s eastern seaboard. More than 50 fires are currently burning in New South Wales, and some 15,000 hectares have burned in Queensland since late last week.

'It’s the first time Australia has seen such strong fires this early in the bushfire season. While fire is a normal part of Australia’s yearly cycle and no two years are alike, what we are seeing now is absolutely not business as usual.

'And although these bushfires are not directly attributable to climate change, our rapidly warming climate, driven by human activities, is exacerbating every risk factor for more frequent and intense bushfires.

'… Inevitably, we will see large-scale disasters occurring simultaneously in multiple territories, making it impossible to share resources. Our emergency management workforce report they are already stressed and overworked, and losing the capacity to share resources will only exacerbate this.'

 

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