Australia’s unprecedented wildfires are supercharged thanks to climate change, the type of trees catching fire and weather, experts say.
Australia’s unprecedented wildfires are supercharged thanks to climate change, the type of trees catching fire and weather, experts say.(Photo: AP)
  • 1. Is Climate Change Really a Factor?
  • 2. How Does Climate Change Make These Fires Worse?
  • 3. Has Australia’s Fire Season Changed?
  • 4. Is Weather, Not Just Long-Term Climate, a Factor?
  • 5. Are People Starting These Fires? Is It Arson?
  • 6. Are These Fires Triggering Thunderstorms?
  • 7. Are the Australian Trees Prone to Burning?
  • 8. How Can You Fight These Huge Australia Fires?
  • 9. What Does the Long-Term Future Look Like for Australia?
How Climate Change Stoked Australia’s Fires

Australia’s unprecedented wildfires are supercharged thanks to climate change, the type of trees catching fire and weather, experts say.

And these fires are so extreme that they are triggering their own thunderstorms.

Here are a few questions and answers about the science behind the Australian wildfires that so far have burned about 5 million hectares (12.35 million acres), killing at least 17 people and destroying more than 1,400 homes.“They are basically just in a horrific convergence of events,” said Stanford University environmental studies director Chris Field, who chaired an international scientific report on climate change and extreme events. He said this is one of the worst, if not the worst, climate change extreme events he’s seen.

“There is something just intrinsically terrifying about these big wildfires. They go on for so long, the sense of hopelessness that they instil,” Field said. “The wildfires are kind of the iconic representation of climate change impacts.”

Loading...
    PreviousNext

    Follow our Explainers section for more stories.

    Loading...