As extreme wildfires burn across large swaths of Australia, scientists say we're witnessing how global warming can push forest ecosystems past a point of no return.
Some of those forests won't recover in today's warmer climate, scientists say. They expect the same in other regions scarred by flames in recent years; in semi-arid areas like parts of the American West, the Mediterranean Basin and Australia, some post-fire forest landscapes will shift to brush or grassland. More than 17 million acres have burned in Australia over the last three months amid record heat that has dried vegetation and pulled moisture from the land. Hundreds of millions of animals, including a large number of koalas, are believed to have perished in the infernos. The survivors will face drastically changed habitats. Water flows and vegetation will change, and carbon emissions will rise as burning trees release carbon and fewer living trees are left to pull CO2 out of the air and store it.
- At least 25 people and millions of animals have died since September.
- Australia is fighting an unprecedented bushfire season, fuelled by record temperatures and widespread drought.
- On Tuesday, New South Wales (NSW) officials said fires there had claimed 1,588 homes and damaged 653 more.
- About 200 homes have been destroyed in neighbouring Victoria, adding to more than 100 lost in other states.
- The Insurance Council of Australia estimated the damage bill had reached A$700m (£370m; $485m), but said it expected the cost to rise significantly.
I started a small campaign in my home city to help Australia organization's who take care of humans and animals who got hurt from fire. Some of those organizations can't reach charity. So i give it privately to them. All money you send will be given out to them.