The reality of climate change

By Tristan Eid

Australia experienced higher temperatures, a decline in biodiversity, more extreme droughts, fire seasons, floods, extreme weather conditions and rising sea levels in the decade from 2011-2020.

The number of days that break heat records has doubled in the past 50 years. Heatwaves are a particular concern, occurring at a rapid rate and with a lot more intensity. In recent decades more people have died from heatwaves in Australia than all other natural disasters combined.

The bushfires that occurred from June 2019 to May 2020 were some of the most devastating events that have occurred during Australia’s existence. They burned approximately 30,000 square km and destroyed 3500 homes with 5852 outbuildings along with taking the lives of 34 people.

That period changed the lives for many Aussies for all the wrong reasons with the bushfires being described as megafires due to the intensity, size, duration and uncontrollable dimension.

A news report by the World Wide Fund for Nature-Australia and researchers at the University of Sydney estimates the 2019-20 bushfires cost Australian agriculture upwards of $5 billion to repair the damage that was inflicted.

Flooding in Queensland has been extremely prominent in 2023, completely isolating the communities for weeks.

Approximately 70 people were stranded in the Queensland town of Burketown as the swollen Albert River to the town’s east rose, with authorities warning that flood waters were likely infested with crocodiles.

This comes as no surprise as climate change is the greatest threat facing humanity today, destroying people’s lives, homes and livelihoods on an unprecedented scale.

Since 2008 climate change has uprooted some 21 million people from their homes each year. By 2030 it’s projected that climate change will cost developing countries up to $580 billion in loss and damage.

Featured image: Bushfires have made climate change a hot topic. Picture: Bertknot/CC/flickr

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