Australia's national weather forecaster has issued severe thunderstorm warnings for parts of the states of Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria, as well as road weather alerts for Victoria and Tasmania.
"Overall, our review finds that climate change increases the frequency and severity of fire weather globally and thus increases the risk of fire occurring".
"Fire weather does occur naturally, but is becoming more severe and widespread due to climate change", said professor Richard Betts, a co-author of the paper, and head of climate impacts Research at the Met Office Hadley Centre. A seven-day state of emergency was declared on December 23.
In recent days, the Prime Minister has flagged a potential shift in Australia's climate policies after the deadly bushfire emergencies.
Speaking at the launch of the global review, he pointed to the fact that Australia is now about 1.4C warmer than the global average temperature was in the pre-industrial period. There, the smoke can migrate thousands of kilometers from its source and affect atmospheric conditions around the world, according to NASA.
Globally rising temperatures may make Australia so hot and dry that the country could join the ranks of "climate refuges" a USA climatologist and geophysicist told Reuters. The state has been spared the worst of the bushfires. Image: AFPmedia_cameraBusiness owner Sally Anne Wilson faces her destroyed business with her partner Christopher Lee in Cobargo, New South Wales New South Wales on January 1st.
"The bushfire crisis has intensified concern about climate change for many Australians, a majority of whom think the country is experiencing the impacts of climate change right here and right now", institute deputy director Ebony Bennett said.
The wildfires now ravaging Australia are "unprecedented" according to analysis by the World Resources Institute, which found there were about four times more fire alerts in 2019 than in any other year in the past two decades.
"Every second that we spend talking about whether the climate is changing is a second we are not spending on looking at adaptation, mitigation strategies", she told ABC radio. Image: AAPmedia_cameraBushfire experts and fire chiefs have described the conditions of this brush fire season as "unprecedented".
"My starting position in the discussion tomorrow will be that the climate has changed and it continues to change". In contrast, burned area has increased in closed-canopy forests, likely in response to the dual pressures of climate change and forest degradation.
Bushfires are common during Australia's summer months, but this fire season started unusually early, often moving quickly and unpredictably, and leaving swathes of the drought-stricken land a scorched earth.
"Limiting global warming to well below 2°C would help avoid further increases in the risk of extreme fire weather".