From the recent bushfires we’ve all seen on social media lately, many are questioning whether climate change is a factor. Australia is just going through their typical weather pattern. However, the causes of climate change has certainly been a factor, which has contributed to its massive intensity.
Australia has felt 107 degrees Fahrenheit of record-breaking heat in recent weeks. Extreme heat, prolonged drought, and fierce winds have fueled such fires making them virtually impossible to contain.
Millions of animals have suffered and died
The destruction that has killed over 500 million animals in New South Wales alone. This has only just begun. Animals who have dodged the fires are coming back to burnt land. More animals will soon die of starvation as they attempt to hunt for food and shelter.
Sadly, this estimate only includes birds and reptiles according to Sydney University ecologist, Chris Dickman. These numbers are likely far greater since frogs, bats, and insects were excluded from the study’s estimation.
In addition, the extreme drought and fires have destroyed critical wildlife habitats in the region. Sadly, this will place certain species at risk for extinction.
Has climate change caused the fires?
It’s clear that Australia has experienced a gradual change in climate – hotter, drier conditions just extends their fire seasons while making it more destructive and deadly. The recent bushfires have also killed at least 17 people destroying more than 1,400 homes.
Australia’s fires are “an example of climate change” according to Mike Flannigan who is a fire scientist at the University of Alberta in Canada. Human-caused climate change has resulted in more dangerous weather conditions for bushfires in recent decades for many regions of Australia.
The climate continues
The extreme fire season in Australia in 2019 was predicted per climate experts. Climate change will continue to cause more extreme heat waves, droughts, and bushfires all around the world. Farms in vulnerable areas will no longer have the viability of producing crops. Sooner or later, parts of the Earth near the equator will become so hot that humans will not be able to thrive.
Many will debate against the fact that human activities are changing Earth’s climate, causing an increase in destructive social and environmental impact. However, it’s crystal clear that people and animals are suffering and will continue to do so if we as the human race don’t drastically reduce our greenhouse gas emissions.
After all, it’s up to us to take on social and environmental responsibility in our daily actions because our forests, animals, ecosystems, and livelihoods are all at risk.