CSIRO study proves climate change is driving Australia to 800% bushfire boom
Climate change is the dominant factor causing an increase in the scale of bushfires in Australia’s forests, according to a landmark study that found that the average annual area burned has grown by 800 percent in the past 32 years.
Peer-reviewed research by the national science agency, CSIRO – published in the prestigious Science Journal, temper nature – He reveals evidence showing changes in weather due to global warming were the driving force behind the boom in bushfires in Australia.
Lead author and CSIRO climate research scientist, Pep Canadel, said the study demonstrated the relationship between the bushfire risk index — which measures weather-related vegetation dryness, air temperature, wind speed and humidity — and the increased area of forest burned since the 1930s. .
“It’s so tight, it’s so strong that it’s clear that when we have big fire events, the climate and the weather manages to,” said Dr. Cannadel.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison went to the COP26 climate talks in Glasgow to commit Australia to net zero emissions by 2050, raising his forecast for Australia’s 2030 carbon reduction, but defying a global push to commit to phasing out fossil fuel use. Instead, the coalition government is supporting a major expansion of the gas industry, which it expects to be 13 percent larger in 2050 than it is now.
Under the federal government’s Gas Industry Strategy, taxpayers will support the private sector to develop new viable gas fields and develop an extensive network of new pipelines and related infrastructure.
The Royal Bushfire Commission has identified climate change as a major risk to the ongoing bushfire disaster, but has not made recommendations on reducing greenhouse emissions to curb this threat.
The CSIRO report found that other factors have an impact on the extent and severity of wildfires such as the amount of vegetation or fuel load in the forest, time since the last fire, and burning to reduce risk. But Dr Cannadel said the study showed that the relationship between weather conditions, climatic conditions and the size of wildfires was very narrow, and it was clear that these factors far outweighed all other fire drivers.
“No matter what we do,” he said, “the overall extent of the fire, really, is dictated by the climatic conditions.”