Australia Fires | Maxine Mah

Australia Fires

By: Maxine Mah

In September of 2019 the world saw its first catalyst and its first victim of global warming: Australia. In Queensland and New Wales, both parts of the northeast sector of the country, 40C winds (104F) are what is believed to have caused the massive bushfires to start and they haven’t stopped since. Fires in Australia aren’t an anomaly, but the extreme heat this year has caused the worst fires seen in the history of the country. Thousands have had to evacuate, 17 have been killed by these fires, and authorities have arrested two dozen people that has possibly committed acts of arson. Over 400 homes have been destroyed just this week and the fires have continued to spread to the southern coast near Sydney and Melbourne (Milan 2020). Experts say that there isn’t any other explanation for the flames raging across Australia other than the effects of climate change. Columbian climate scientist Kate Marvel publicly stated that the country as a whole has warmed about 1 degree Celsius (about 2 degrees fahrenheit): “This makes heat waves and fires more likely. It's not the sun. It's not volcanoes. It's not 'natural cycles.'" With record high temperatures and very little rainfall, it seems as though the fires have no intent of stopping. The U.S. and Canada have sent firefighters to help out with the cause but it’s not enough. The underlying message the bushfires have been telling the world is a warning about the future of our Earth. The globe is warming, ice caps are melting, and Australia is covered in flames. Sending help to reduce the cause could lessen the effect but the snowball of global warming won’t stop until the people of the world start change, and currently it might be a little too late.