Heavy rain may finally bringing some relief to firefighting efforts in Tasmania, but blazes continue to burn throughout world heritage areas in what has been dubbed a global tragedy. With Western Tasmania suffering through the driest summer on record, at the end of the hottest year ever recorded globally, the fingerprints of climate change are all over this crisis. The parks service warned as much, saying the lightning fires that have torched vast alpine areas should not be seen as “natural”, but rather as a reality of the new world of extremes we are heading into. Intense bushfires are happening three times more often than they did a century ago, and as intact nature offers best defense against climate change, the loss of vast tracts of forest like the Tarkine is not only a tragedy loss of unique species, but a loss that raises the risk of more and worse climate impacts to come.
— Jeannie (@Jeannieic) January 27, 2016
- Share: Fires in Tasmania’s ancient forests are a warning for all of us (The Conversation)
- Listen: Extreme bushfires and why they’re becoming more frequent in Australia (Radio National)
- Climate change is making fires more extreme and more frequent. Fire has always been a part of the Australian landscape, but fire risk is growing rapidly as the warming world and sensitive ecosystems like the Tarkine at increasingly vulnerable. Unlike Australia’s eucalyptus forests, which use fire to regenerate, once gone the 1,000-year-old trees and peat that exist only in places like Tasmania’s world heritage area are gone for good.
- Australia as at the forefront of climate change risks, but it is seriously lagging on environmental performance and climate action. Protecting the natural environment and leaving nature intact offers best defense against climate change, but the Australian government continues to prioritise mining over environmental regulation, raising environmental risks for one of the most economically and environmentally risky industries on the planet.
- Climate action must part of a holistic response to increasingly dire bushfire dangers. Properly resourced and trained emergency personnel, strong public education, and preventative measures are absolutely needed, but to truly respond to growing fire risks far more needs to be done to reduce carbon emissions, clean up national and global energy systems and economies, and protect and regenerate natural systems.
- Tasmania fires: First images of World Heritage Area devastation emerge, show signs of ‘system collapse’ (ABC)
- World heritage forests burn as global tragedy unfolds in Tasmania (The Guardian)
- Tasmanian Bushfires: Seed Bank could be saviour as bushfires ravage Tasmania’s ancient wilderness (ABC)
- Intact nature offers best defense against climate change (Phys.org)
- Heavy rain in Tasmania helps and hinders crews battling bushfires (ABC)
- All at risk of being lost forever (The Mercury)
Tools and Resources
- Study: Intact ecosystems provide best defence against climate change (CSIRO / Nature)
- Report: Hottest Year on Record (Again) (The Climate Council)
Images and Video
- Photos: Australian Bushfire (Climate Visuals), Rainforest (GreensMPs), Hottest Year on Record (The Climate Council)
- “This is bigger than us. This is what climate change looks like, this is what scientists have been telling people, this is system collapse.” – Fire ecologist David Bowman
- “Functioning and intact, forests, grasslands, wetlands and coral reefs represent our greatest protection against floods and storms.” – CSIRO principal research scientist, Dr. Tara Martin
Related Tree Alerts
- Hottest year on record has human fingerprints all over it
- Indonesian fires a “crime against humanity”, nature, and the global climate
- Australia on fire again as global heat records continue to be broken
- Australia to face increasingly frequent & intense bushfires – Climate Council
- Tony Abbott ignores research linking bushfires and climate change
- RT @lukeobrienphoto: Nick Monk has made this consise summary of the fire in the Tarkine. Really sad, and really alarming. Rainforest… http://fb.me/22cc9R07K
- RT @GregFaull: An incredible image from the Tarkine Fires by Jackie Dixon #Tasmania #TassiePics #Tarkine