The sheer scale and intensity of the Australian bushfire crisis have led to apocalyptic scenes making the front pages of newspapers the world over. An estimated 10 million hectares (100,000 sq km) of land have burned since 1 July 2019. At least 28 people have died. And over a billion animals are estimated to have been killed to date. Of course, the actual toll will be much higher if major animal groups, such as insects, are included in these estimates.
The impacts of climate change – in particular, the consequences of the increasing frequency of extreme weather events on all life should be abundantly clear. People finally seem to be taking this seriously, but there is an undercurrent of opinion about the “naturalness” of wildfires. Some are still questioning the role of climate change in driving the Australian bushfires. MORE