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3 graphs reveal the unimaginable scale of Australia’s fires in 2020

More than half of Australia’s population suffers from smoking suffocationThe nation’s sky is lit orange as wildfires continue to devastate the continent.

Since the start of the bushfire season in September, it is estimated that they have burned More than 10.1 million hectaresAccording to Reuters, H. At least 25 people they died. More than a billion animals are feared to dieIt is estimated 2,000 cases Have been destroyed. Hundreds of thousands of people Forced to evacuate.

The Total economic damage and loss It will exceed 100 billion dollarsAccording to AccuWeather Founder and AccuWeather CEO Joel Myers.

During the summer they go From December to March, fires are constant in AustraliaBut this year’s crisis – which comes on the heels of a long heat wave and drought – It has no precedent. For comparison, there were fires that engulfed the Brazilian Amazon this year 7 million hectares of rainforest.

Magnitude A column of smoke Of practically countless Australian fires: 526,000 hectares of ash and smoke that can be Observed from space. It is a stretch Three times the area of ​​Mexico, and half the size of Canada, And the largest of the 11 largest US states rocks together.

In December, an official from New South Wales said the state was seeing its “longest period” and “widest spread” Poor air quality From its history.

“I noticed the smoke-filled valleys, with only pale ghosts of the far hills and peaks in the background,” Michael Mann, an American climate scientist who was on vacation in Sydney, Books in the Guardian.

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Drought conditions in the jungles and wooded areas of Australia have made the land ready for sparks. Australia experienced its worst spring on record in 2019. The December 18th was The hottest day in the nation’s historyAnd the With an average temperature of 40.9 ° C.

Over the past fifteen years, Australia has had eight of its hottest years on record. According to the Foreign Ministry, the winter rains that may contribute to reducing the intensity of the summer fires have decreased significantly Sydney Morning Herald.

“We used to see hundreds of thousands of hectares burning in forest fires, but now we see millions burning.” He told the Herald Pep Canadell, CEO of the Global Carbon Project.

The following 3 graphs reveal the unimaginable dimensions of the Australian fires.

The Australian bushfires have burned far more land than other recent fires and even the worst American fires of all time.

Last year was a hot year. The fires affected 2.58 million acres of Siberian tundra during the summer, and a million acres of Alaska forest erupted in smoke. More than 100,000 fires broke out in the Amazon rainforest in just ten days in August.

But the Australian bushfires overshadowed all of these events. In fact, this season set national records for the worst fire season; It was in 2009 when the Black Saturday fires destroyed 445,000 hectares.

Taken together, the scorched earth in Australia on Tuesday 8 January 2020 was the size of the US state of Virginia.

The area covered by the resulting smoke – 526,000 hectares – corresponds to the regions of Alaska, Texas, California, Montana, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, Colorado, Oregon, Wyoming and Michigan combined.

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A cloud of smoke covered nearly 70% of Australia.

If this smoke were to hang over Europe, it would swallow up half of the continent.

The column reached South America and possibly Antarctica, According to the United Nations World Meteorological Organization.

Earl Warner

"Devoted bacon guru. Award-winning explorer. Internet junkie. Web lover."

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