Global warming caused by burning fossil fuels, deforestation (burning and removing vegetation), farming (particularly sheep and cattle) and the breakdown of waste and industries such as coal and liquid gas is becoming a major factor increasing the risk of bushfires according to latest research of the Tasmanian bushfires presenting evidence of anthropogenic climate change.
In an ABC news report, scientists say the increase in bushfires on the island was due to the shift of westerly winds towards Antarctica, a trend that has previously been linked to depletion of the ozone layer. Findings include;
- Bushfires in Tasmania are more frequent now than in the past 1,000 years and large scale fire events were previously rare
- This is linked to southward migration of westerly wind
- This southward movement has been linked ozone depletion
“My conviction is that the current trend is evidence of anthropogenic forces,” said Dr Michael-Shawn Fletcher of the University of Melbourne, who studies long-term interactions between humans, climate and vegetation.
In the first ever study of its kind, Dr Fletcher and PhD student Michaela Mariani found the southerly shift in westerlies was associated with an increase in fire activity in south west Tasmania.
Their study included an analysis of charcoal deposits from fires over the past 1,000 years in an area of western Tasmania that includes areas where fires are currently burning. Click here to read more.
The 5th Australian and New Zealand Disaster and Emergency Management Conference will be held at Jupiters Gold Coast, QLD, 30-31 May 2016. The Conference theme ‘EARTH, FIRE and RAIN’ will continue to examine issues that impact preparedness, resilience, response and capability. To register for the conference CLICK HERE.