Climate change and fires’ ‘unequivocal link’

A firefighter tackles a bushfire blaze.
29 July 2020

Leading Australian scientists say there was an "unequivocal" link between last summer's catastrophic bushfire season and climate change.

Speaking at Wednesday's Senate inquiry into the 2019-2020 bushfire season, Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) chief executive officer Dr Andrew Johnson said "there's no doubt" the planet was warming.

"There's no doubt the causes of that warming have significant human footprint. That's well established and scientific evidence is unequivocal," he said.

He said average temperatures had risen 1.4C since the turn of the century while parts of the country had experienced a rapid decline in rainfall.

"How that (global warming) translates to a severe weather event is a broad field, (but) there are certain dimensions of the warming planet and what we're experiencing today that's becoming clear," he said.

In January Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his Energy and Emissions Reduction Minister Angus Taylor suggested the country did not need to cut emissions more aggressively in a bid to stem global warming despite a three-year drought and raging fires.

Read the full article on the Whitsunday Times website, featuring commentary by Prof Mark Howden