Australia: 2019/2020 “Clearly” burned by global warming

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SYDNEY (AFP) – The wildfires that devastated Australia in 2019 and 2020 were “clearly” triggered by global warming, the commission of inquiry concluded Tuesday, with a fraud for those who argue that climate change has nothing to do with this disaster.

Fires are recurring every year on the vast island-continent at the end of the southern winter, and the country is currently experiencing them.

But the fire was exceptionally intense last year, lasting nine months until March.

The state of New South Wales was the hardest hit, with 11,000 fires destroying 55,000 square kilometers, more than half of Portugal.

After several months of investigations, the NSW government released a 436-page report on Tuesday that destroyed more than 2,400 homes across the state and killed 26 people.

With dozens of recommendations to protect against a similar catastrophe in the future, this investigation continues to claim that those in Australia have nothing to do with global warming.

“Global warming as a result of increasing greenhouse gas emissions clearly played a role in the conditions that led to the fire and the conditions that allowed it to prolong and spread,” the report said.

However, he acknowledges that the exact role of global warming in the complex cocktail of fire-inducing climatic conditions cannot be determined.

The report cites years of drought, particularly strong winds, thunderstorms and low humidity.

While acknowledging that “global warming does not explain everything that has happened”, the authors note that the catastrophic conditions “correspond to the plans made due to global warming.”

“Intense fires are more likely to occur frequently,” the report says.

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It dismisses the claims of those who oppose any coercive action against global warming – including part of the conservative government – claiming to have been caused by fires, or those involved in the lack of maintenance of forest cover.

The investigation says only 11 fires at NSW were the cause of the fire. Most large fires are caused by lightning in remote rural areas.

A National Commission of Inquiry into the fire is also expected to present its results soon.

© AFP

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About the Author: Cory Weinberg

Cory Weinberg covers the intersection of tech and cities. That means digging into how startups and big tech companies are trying to reshape real estate, transportation, urban planning, and travel. Previously, he reported on Bay Area housing and commercial real estate for the San Francisco Business Times. He received a "best young journalist" award from the National Association of Real Estate Editors.

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