Drought and Fire Continue to Threaten Koalas and Humans in Australia
By now, most people are familiar with the above image from the recent devastating wildfires in Australia. But while the rapid internet proliferation of this example of interspecies camaraderie mimicked the spread of the fire itself, there was no happy ending for many victims in Australia’s Victoria state on February 7th. The death toll has reached 210, and there are four fires still blazing in the area. According to the Associated Press, officials have warned that forecasted high winds and high temperatures could provoke another massive flareup.
Drought is a major root cause of the severity of the fires, and unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight. Continuing climate change is predicted to cause an El Nino event to worsen the drought in southern Australia within the next three years. This is a sad reminder of our fragile relationship with the environment, and another urgent call to combat greenhouse gas emissions and other human impacts on climate.