Brisbane, Australia (CNN)"This is the climate election," declared Queensland Greens Sen. Larissa Waters at a Brisbane forum, weeks before the Australian election this month. It's unsurprising that Waters would say this: The environment is always at the heart of the Greens' policy. But a series of natural disasters has forced many other Australians to take notice. Fires, floods and the worst drought in living memory have ravaged Australia in the past year, laying waste to thousands of homes, devastating the livelihoods of farmers and wreaking millions of dollars' worth of damage. In January, record-breaking temperatures soared so high, for so long that asphalt roads started to melt. "When I was first elected in 2010, scientists were telling us it was the critical decade," Waters told the audience. "It's nearly the end of that decade and we've bloody wasted it." The electorate is aware. Concern about climate change is now at a 10-year high among Australians, with 64% believing it … [Read more...] about Australia is being devastated by climate change. So will it swing the election?
The massive bushfires raging across Australia are expected to flare up again as temperatures rise in coming days.So far, four people have died from the fires, which are feeding off drought-stricken farmland and bush.Conditions improved on Friday but crews were still battling about 120 blazes across New South Wales and Queensland.And authorities have warned that a bank of hot air is expected to sweep across the country, escalating the fires.Temperatures across Western Australia are predicted to hit mid-40Cs at the weekend.The fires have razed about 300 homes, and burnt through over 1 million hectares of land in NSW. How a bushfire can manufacture a storm Is climate change to blame for Australia's fires? New fires sparkedWith little sustained rainfall forecast for the coming months, fire chiefs warn that the fires could burn for weeks and even months.Queensland authorities said they were expecting new fires to break out next week with higher winds and temperatures. They also predicted … [Read more...] about Australia fires: New blazes forecast as temperatures rise
This is what the unprecedented wildfires on Australia's east coast look like from space. Around 12,000 square kilometres have burned in New South Wales and Queensland since July, an area larger than Jamaica. The fires have caused four deaths, injured more than a hundred and destroyed more than 300 homes. And this is just the beginning of the Australia region's usual fire season. This chilling image of the east coast was obtained by blogger Pierre Markuse using NASA's Aqua MODIS satellite. Meanwhile, Polish forestry engineer Kamil Onoszko obtained this animation with the Japanese satellite Himawari 8. Smoke from the fires is crossing the Pacific and arriving regularly in South America. Onoszko's pictures showed the extent of the column of smoke travelling across the ocean. The scientist Colin Seftor showed how the smoke reached South America using the aerosol index. The Atmospheric Surveillance Service of the European Earth Observation Network Copernicus (CAMS) has published a report … [Read more...] about In pictures: Australia’s ‘unprecedented’ wildfires seen from space
La dimensión de los incendios sin precedentes que están consumiendo la costa este australiana sólo es apreciable en su totalidad desde el espacio con ayuda de los satélites. Los expertos están publicando impresionantes imágenes que muestran la magnitud del desastre. Desde el mes de julio se han quemado 12.000 kilómetros cuadrados en Nueva Gales del Sur y Queensland, una superficie mayor que Jamaica, provocando cuatro muertos en una semana, más de un centenar de heridos y calcinando más de 300 viviendas. Y eso que sólo estamos en el inicio de la temporada habitual de incendios en la región. El bloguero Pierre Markuse ha obtenido esta escalofriante imagen de la costa este utilizando el satélite Aqua MODIS de la NASA. El ingeniero forestal polaco Kamil Onoszko obtenía esta animación con el satélite japonés Himawari 8 Las oleadas de humo están cruzando el Pacífico y llegando regularmente a … [Read more...] about Los históricos incendios que destruyen la costa este de Australia, desde el espacio
The Australian government has rejected a proposal to form a body in parliament representing indigenous peoples.Indigenous leaders had suggested setting up an advisory body in May, arguing it would be their "voice in parliament" and ensure their communities' recognition. But the government has said the majority of Australians would not accept the idea.The topic of indigenous recognition remains highly sensitive in Australia. Why doesn't Australia have an indigenous treaty? How an Aboriginal history play set off a row One mans' march for indigenous rights Indigenous leaders met in a historic summit earlier this year, where they debated how best to recognise Australia's first inhabitants.In the end, they decided to call for the formation of an advisory body.The leaders then asked the Australian government to hold a public referendum on this suggestion.On Thursday, the government announced it would not do so, saying in a statement that the idea was "inconsistent" with the principle of … [Read more...] about Australia rejects indigenous ‘voice’ in parliament
Australian authorities say a fourth person has died in a week of massive bushfires on the nation's east coast.The 58-year-old man's body was found in northern New South Wales (NSW) on Thursday, days after a fire ripped through the region.Crews are still battling over 120 fires in NSW and Queensland, but locals in Western Australia have now been warned of extremely dangerous conditions.Police charged a 16-year-old boy with deliberately starting a damaging fire.The alleged arson had destroyed 14 homes around the town of Yeppoon, 650km (400 miles) north of Brisbane, Queensland Police said. How a bushfire can manufacture a storm Is climate change to blame for Australia's fires? Fire chiefs have warned the worst of the summer is "still ahead of us", after expressing alarm at the scale and severity of the spring bushfires.Prime Minister Scott Morrison has often avoided questions on whether climate change has contributed to the fires, in a response that has drawn wide criticism.Who were the … [Read more...] about Australia bushfires: Death toll rises as communities remain on alert