So said Australian Member of Parliament David Shoebridge after bureaucrats attending a climate planning and adaptation conference had been advised not to discuss the relationship between climate change and Australia’s bushfire crisis, the Guardian reports.
Yes, there’s more news of wildfires on the rampage, bringing fear and destruction, made worse by many things including climate change. But the latest isn’t from California; it’s happening in Australia and especially hard hit is the territory of New South Wales. Yes, a lot of things are making wildfire/bushfire worse in California/Australia. Nobody denies that. One of those things is climate change. Those who deny that, are climate deniers.
Fires rage with dry fuel, and dryness is governed by two weather-related factors: precipitation and temperature. The more precipitation, the wetter the potential fuels. The higher the temperature, the more dry they get. When high temperature and low precipitation combine, they make high-risk fire weather.
When it comes to rainfall totals, New South Wales (NSW) has been through some dry years recently, especially this year (yearly averages, year-to-date for 2019):
Drought conditions are now severe, and that’s one of the things making the bushfire crisis so bad. But precipitation alone isn’t the whole story, and there’s no real trend in precipitation anyway. Temperature, however, has shown a distinct trend, especially daytime high temperatures (yearly averages, year-to-date for 2019):
Not only have the last three years been hotter than NSW has endured before, it’s part of an ongoing trend that tells of even worse to come.
Rising temperature is a factor in Australia’s wildfire crisis. It’s not the only factor, there are many, including all the ones that climate deniers will tell you about when they blame the wildfire/bushfire crisis on anything but climate change. But however many contributing factors there may be, climate change is one of them because temperature is on the rise and temperature affects fuel dryness. Those who deny that, deny the peer-reviewed literature, deny the data, deny the laws of physics.
Those who deny the significant link between climate change and wildfire/bushfire, are climate deniers.
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