Recent NSW Bushfires and Climate Change
My blogging has been a little haphazard of late due to time taken off work to fight bushfires. I have included some photo’s in this post that were taken at the State Mine Fire around Bilpin. I am sure we all know someone who has been affected by the recent fires – especially if you live in areas near major fires. There has been much talk in the media and on the fireground between volunteers (I might have had something to do with that!) about the influence of climate change on our current bushfire threat.
So what is the science saying on all of this? It is hard to know where to start – but the best place for broad global climate change information is the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Report that was recently released. This is the definative explanation of all the best research worldwide collated and interpreted by hundreds of experts from many countries who all donate their time. Try the “Summary for Policy Makers” as a first step if you are daunted by the size of the report.
Interpreting and relating this worldwide data and providing more details for Australians and specifically bushfires has previously been the task of the Climate Commission. This body was recently defunded by the federal government but has risen from the ashes as a community funded group called the the Climate Council.
The Climate Council had a Q & A on the topic of bushfires and climate change recently. It is well worth a watch to get the best and latest scientific thinking. It runs for an hour, so get a cup of tea and settle in. They will also be releasing a report in the coming weeks on bushfires and climate change. Dr Matthias Boer also writes a discourse on the topic. He is one of the researchers at UWS Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment with a focus on climate change.