The bushfire season kicked off with full monte. The usual bushfire season that starts around August greeted us early in June 2019. Who knew that the reports from the Queensland Fire and Emergency Service in the same month were an indication of the advent of the worst bushfire incident in Australia till date. A phase that lasted from June 2019 - March 2020, the smoke of which travelled all around the world and settled back in Australia. After turning the New Zealand glaciers from white to yellow. A season that gave the infamous Koalas of the region, an entry into the list of endangered species. Killing 1.1 billion animals along the way, the fiery flames made their way to destroy 3000 homes and leading the country to witness what might come their way in the future.
The sight of the woods being blown up this way took the people by surprise. The country was up in flames already. Widespread smoke and fires changed the colors of the sky. Nobody had ever imagined that we would see blood red colored skies showing us a mirror of what is happening. Human bodies felt the heat that was wreaking havoc. Their lifestyles changed, news channels screamed out headlines about the incident. Only to find that a report in the year 2008 had already predicted this event to happen in 2020 if the pattern continued. And yes, they were right. The report measured the climatic impacts that Australia would face - the bushfire season starting early and ending slightly late. And also the fact that these Bushfire seasons will keep getting more intense as time passes by. It mentioned clearly (in 2008) that the results would be clearly observable by 2020.
Similar incidents also happened the same year when the Amazon Rainforests caught fire. The Amazon Rainforest has lost 17% of its area since the year 1970. The biggest carbon sink is slowly turning into a source of carbon emissions now.
Koalas and their change of fate.
Australia is gifted with a rich biodiversity. And that is what makes it very unique.You could easily find the Emus, kangaroos and koalas in the country. From the great coral reefs to these animals, the country has it all. and it is these species that face the real brunt of all these extreme events. The sweet , tiny koalas got stuck in the midst of these fires. And these events lead to them being pushed into the list of endangered species. Probably the biggest statement that hurt the people in Australia at that time. The extent can be measured by the fact that helicopters had to airdrop food for animals to eat. Video clips of people feeding the koalas with food and water went viral, bringing to light the scale and intensity of events to people sitting far away in the world.
The forest fires in Australia are generally a normal occurrence. It is a part of their ecosystem. Practices such as "Prescribed Burning" are common where the citizens allow the fires to take place in a limit so that the ecological balance is sustained. But these fires were an extreme climatic event. The same year was also the hottest and the driest year in Australian history. This further increased the chances of extreme fire incidents.
What exactly causes these Wildfires ?
As global temperatures continue to rise, it causes more heating. The higher level of heating leads to more moisture evaporating from the ground. This means that the land will get drier, making it more flammable. Although climate change does not directly light up the match that causes wildfires, it certainly creates the floor for those wildfires to stay longer. And this is scary. The number of wildfires have been increasing consistently. As climate change keeps getting bigger, rainfall patterns will change; making the existing regions drier and causing drought like conditions. This in turn is the start of the same cycle that lays the foundation for longer season of wildfires. Hence, It is all interconnected. It is a loop, entry into which will cause destruction in some form or the other. According to reports by World Meteorological Department, Wildfires are forecasted to rise by 50% by 2100.
The reason behind these fires being natural or human induced may be debatable (for some people). The problem is that even natural reasons are not natural anymore but a result of human activities. It is time we take a moment and realize the impact of our developmental steps on our future.
As time passes by, things have to change. Now is the time to give an end to the era of climate ignorance. Sustainability is the next big thing. There is no time for talks. It is time for action.
We can't wait anymore.
Now is the time to ,
Do it earthily !