Articles on Spring 2019 bushfires

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The United Nations predicts the world will be home to nearly 10 billion people by 2050 – making global greenhouse emission cuts ever more urgent. NASA/Joshua Stevens

As Earth’s population heads to 10 billion, does anything Australians do on climate change matter?

To be clear, I'm not advocating compulsory population control, here or anywhere. But we do need to consider a future with billions more people, many of them aspiring to live as Australians do now.
Glossy black cockatoo populations on Kangaroo Island have been decimated. But a few precious survivors remain. Flickr

Conservation scientists are grieving after the bushfires – but we must not give up

The destruction of recent fires is challenging our belief that with enough time, love and money, every threatened species can be saved. But there is plenty we can, and must, now do.
A targeted, coordinated online campaign has tried to mislead the public. While the myths have been debunked, the culpable parties remain unknown. SEAN DAVEY/AAP

Bushfires, bots and arson claims: Australia flung in the global disinformation spotlight

We found about 300 suspicious Twitter accounts, which we suspect included a high proportion of bots and trolls pushing the #ArsonEmergency narrative.
Use the slider tool in the images below to see before and after NASA satellite images of Australia’s fire and drought effects. NASA

‘This crisis has been unfolding for years’: 4 photos of Australia from space, before and after the bushfires

We pulled four before-and-after NASA satellite images and asked bushfire researcher Grant Williamson to reflect on the story they tell.
Locally managed hazard reduction could give communities greater ownership over prevention and leverage local knowledge. David Bowman

There’s no evidence ‘greenies’ block bushfire hazard reduction but here’s a controlled burn idea worth trying

Local, self organised, community groups can be supported to do strategic hazard reduction through a range of techniques – including targeted grazing, and prescribed or fuel reduction burning.
Residents of Grantham pay their respects during the dawn memorial service after the 2011 Queensland flash floods. Research into natural disaster recovery suggests there is a long road ahead for survivors of the current bushfire crisis. AAP/PATRICK HAMILTON

Disaster recovery from Australia’s fires will be a marathon, not a sprint

Research on other natural disasters tells us there's a long road ahead for survivors of the current bushfire crisis – but there are some key lessons.
An evacuation centre at the Hanging Rock Sports Club Function Centre at Batemans Bay, Friday, January 3, 2020. Maybe it’s time to rearrange Australian calendar and reschedule the peak holiday period to March or April, instead of December and January. AAP Image/DEAN LEWINS

As bushfire and holiday seasons converge, it may be time to say goodbye to the typical Australian summer holiday

Sending holidaymakers directly into forests and national parks right in the middle of peak bushfire season is madness.
A firefighting helicopter tackles a bushfire near Bairnsdale in Victoria’s East Gippsland region, Australia. State Government of Victoria

How to monitor the bushfires raging across Australia

Here's how Australians and their overseas family and friends can monitor the movement of fire fronts in real time.
Dale Palmer prepares his home in NSW for the bushfires. The decision to stay and defend one’s property requires a person to be mentally, as well as physically, prepared. AAP/Darren Pateman

It’s hard to breathe and you can’t think clearly – if you defend your home against a bushfire, be mentally prepared

In catastrophic fire conditions, leaving early is the only safe option. But in other conditions, one thing that's often overlooked in decisions to stay or go is how mentally tough you need to be.
Last year fire storms raged across California. Similar conditions could become more likely for Australia. Giovanni is interested in how meteorological processes operate at multiple spatial and temporal scales to control air pollution events, and how this influence is mediated by topographic variation and characteristics of the urban environment. His current r

Climate change will make fire storms more likely in southeastern Australia

Extreme fire risk will overlap with weather patterns to create fire tornadoes more often under climate change.

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