General, Research, Technology

Australia on fire: what happens to nature?

Australia's forest fires are so massivethat they are visible from space. Satellites that are thousands of kilometers from the Earth's surface can easily detect flames and smoke from fires. Despite the fact that the cause of the fire was probably due to natural causes, experts believe that anthropogenic climate change has exacerbated the already arid conditions that contribute to the emergence of new fires. To date, the fire has destroyed more than 14 million acres of land, killing about half a billion animals, several dozen people and caused the massive relocation of hundreds of thousands of people.

So Australia looks from space - visualization is based on data from NASA satellites

It looks like a disaster

The already difficult situation is aggravated by newtemperature records. According to The Guardian, the temperature in the suburbs of Sydney Canberra on January 4 reached a record 48 degrees Celsius. Forest fires swept over a wide part of the country several months ago. The fire season is traditionally in December, but some territories have been burning since September. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison unveiled the plans of the National Agency for the reconstruction of the country after the fires, saying that the scale of the disaster is huge. To date, at least 24 people have died, about 2,000 homes have been destroyed. According to preliminary data, the authorities of the New South Wales, which is the center of the disaster, estimate the loss of 500 million birds, reptiles and other animals.

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Now Australia is summer, and 2019 was forcountries are the hottest in the history of observations. Hundreds of people were forced to leave their homes, and embassies of many countries do not advise tourists to go to Australia. Short rains, unfortunately, do not help the firefighters in any way in the fight against fire. Of the 150 registered sources of ignition, more than a third of them could not be localized. At least 3,000 people are fighting fires.

Firefighter restrains the spread of fire throughout the country

The hardest thing is animals. In the local reserve, 350 koalas were killed. It is especially difficult for them to escape from fire because of their innate slowness. There is an assumption that the population of these animals cannot be restored. On Kangaroo Island, a shelter off the coast of South Australia for the most endangered species, teams arrived to help euthanize cattle and wildlife that had been affected by the flames.

How will Australia change?

Flame threatens to change Australia's ecology evenwhere plants and animals have adapted to annual fires. However, the ability of animals to recover from such a large-scale disaster is of concern to specialists. Given the damage caused by wildlife to anthropogenic climate change, which has threatened the survival of many species, the hope that some animal populations will be able to recover from such large-scale fires is small. As a rule, animals recover in the years and decades following natural disasters, but Australia has never before dealt with fires of this size and intensity.

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Animals try to escape from the fire

According to NBC News, environmentalists have much lessthe belief that populations of wildlife - especially 1,000 endangered species on the continent - will recover from this disaster. Climate change is fueling the flames. As the planet heats up and sea level rises, the habitat of many animals undergoes constant changes, ahead of their ability to adapt. It seems that the world as we know it will not be the same.