Australia's massive fires could become routine scientists warn

Bushfires ravaging Australia have provided a foretaste of the kinds of conditions that could become normal unless the world moves rapidly to curb emissions of the greenhouse gases driving global warming, scientists have warned, SIA reports referring to foreign media.

Although Australia's government and parts of its media have attempted to downplay the role of man-made climate crisis in making the country more vulnerable to wildfires, a review of 57 scientific papers published since 2013 suggested clear links.

'Fire weather'

The review found that the climate crisis had led to an increase in the frequency and severity of what scientists call "fire weather" – periods with a high fire risk due to some combination of hotter temperatures, low humidity, low rainfall and strong winds. The effects had not only been observed in Australia, but from the western United States and Canada to southern Europe, Scandinavia, Amazon, and Siberia, the review found.

Globally, fire weather seasons have lengthened across about 25 percent of the Earth's vegetated surface, resulting in about a 20 percent increase in the mean length of the fire weather season, according to observational data.

Impact of climate crisis

"Temperature conditions in Australia are extreme at the moment but they are what we expect to happen on average in a world of three degrees of global warming," Betts said. "It brings it home to you what climate change means."

At least 28 people have been killed in the Australian fires that have destroyed 2,000 homes and razed 11.2 million hectares, nearly half the area of the United Kingdom. After weeks of criticism over his handling of the crisis, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Sunday he would propose a high-powered inquiry into the disaster, including the impact of climate crisis.

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