Entire Australian Population Could Soon Become Climate Refugees: Scientists
Australia is in the midst of one of its worst fire seasons on record, with bushfires burning since September and claiming the lives of 28 people, killing more than a billion animals and razing forests and farmland the size of Bulgaria.
The entire Australian population could become 'climate refugees' as researchers fear that the country may become too hot and dry for human habitation.
"Unfortunately, we could well see Australians join the ranks of the world's climate refugees', Michael Mann, director of the Earth System Science Center at Pennsylvania State University, told Reuters.
Owing to soaring temperatures, Australia witnessed extreme bushfires since September 2019, which claimed the lives of 28 people and more than one billion animals. It also razed forests, and farmland the size of Bulgaria reported India Today.
'Climate refugee' is a "person who has been forced to leave their home as a result of the effects of climate change on their environment".
The year 2019 also marked as one of the driest years in Australian weather history. Citing unprecedented conditions caused by intense heat and dryness, NASA notes that the fires have caused an "unusually large number of pyrocumulonimbus (pyrCbs) events," or fire-induced thunderstorms.
Although the recent rains have offered limited hope in some areas, there is not likely to be much greater relief in the next two months, according to climate scientist Richard Arthur Betts.
A poll from the Australian Institute showed that the bushfires have intensified citizens' concerns about climate change and its impact. Additionally, Michael Mann also mentioned that the recently observed that the brown colour of skies over Sydney was a result of human-caused climate change led by record heat and unprecedented drought.
Commenting on how the government has sought to have downplayed the role of climate change in making the country vulnerable to fires, he said, "It's possible to grow the economy, create jobs, and preserve the environment at the same time. These are the things that all Australians could embrace".
He further added that the country just needs a government that's willing to act on their behalf rather than on behalf of a handful of coal barons.
"Australia could still "easily achieve" the target by shifting towards renewable energy," Mann opined.
On Wednesday, 14, 2020, NASA reported the movement of the smoke coming off the Australian fires across the globe showing that it has circumnavigated the Earth; warns that the smoke will travel around the world.