The bush fires that devastated Australia are finally out, but climate change has made them 30% more likely to occur according to a new study. An increase in extreme heat is the main factor that these fires are more likely to happen.
In reality, the scientists behind the report have said that 30% is a conservative estimation. This is a result of current climate models not properly identifying the increase in extreme heat events.
And as emissions continue to rise, the conditions will only worsen.
These Fires Were Devastating
It’s an understatement to say that the Australian bushfires were harmful. To put this into perspective, the bush fires burned twice the amount of land than the Amazon and California forest fires combined.
The fires not only destroyed the trees, shrubs, bushes, and all plants but killed millions of animals around the country. Even worse, the animals that did escape the blaze now have no place to return to. It’s all ash-covered land now, which means no habitat.
And of course, this has had a huge impact on humans as well.
From an economic perspective, the damage to homes, building, and wildlife preserves are estimated at close to $100 billion dollars. And most importantly, we cannot forget the 25 lives that were lost as a result of the fires.
Can Only Get Worse
Unfortunately, the finding in this report is only going to get worse if we continue on our current emission levels. Australia has already risen by nearly 3 degrees Fahrenheit since 1910.
Even with pledges from nations to do more, emissions are still climbing. This will result in hotter temperatures that increase the risk of forest fires all around the world. And a variety of other issues like rising sea levels, animal extinctions, crop threats, and much more.
The only way to avoid this future is to do more now.