It’s been a big couple of weeks in climate change news – not that you’ve heard about it in the media, because the United States continues to have its head shoved firmly up its backside on this issue. Unfortunately, ignoring it will not make it go away, so buckle up for the latest and not so greatest.
Let’s start with Australia, which is currently battling record heat that has sparked several wildfires across the country:
Fires have burnt through more than 131,000 hectares (324,000 acres) of forest and farmland since Tuesday, but the Rural Fire Service has reported only one home destroyed there.
A fire was burning out of control in the Kybeyan Valley east of the town of Cooma.
Police knocked on doors to advise residents of the danger, with the blaze predicted to move toward the villages of Dangelong, Numeralla and Countegany.
Rural Fire Service Deputy Commissioner Rob Rogers said the cool reprieve was expected to be short-lived, with temperatures forecast to climb again by the end of the week.
“We don’t need new fires today,” he said.
The fires have been most devastating in Tasmania where at least 128 homes have been destroyed since Friday.
Hundreds of people remain at two evacuation centers in the state’s south, as fires continue to burn more than 80,000 hectares since last week.
“People have lost everything. We can’t comprehend that devastation unless we are in their shoes,” Tasmanian Premier Lara Giddings said.
The fires have consumed over 80,000 hectares (198,000 acres) in Tasmania since last week.
198,000 acres in one week. That’ll make your jaw drop.
So, how hot is it in Australia? Well, it’s so hot they’ve had to come up with a new color index. The country’s Bureau of Meteorology added deep purple to their heat index chartsto account for now-recorded temperatures exceeding the previous cap of 118.4 degrees:
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