Australia’s Bushfires and Climate Change

Barry Nerhus

Originally published on


Bushfires have always been a part of Australia’s natural environment. However, they typically have a positive role to play in the management of the continent’s ecology. Over the past two decades, bushfires have become more and more extensive. By December 2019, Australia has been experiencing a national emergency due to the size and scale of these bushfires. Several non-profit organizations have sought to impress upon people that this level of fire is not normal.

There’s plenty of evidence to support the assertion that climate change has had an impact on Australia’s bushfires. For example, data shows that rainfall in key areas of Australia has decreased since the mid-1990s. Australia’s natural climate cycles between cool and hot seasons. The cool season is characterized by rainfall and the recovery of vegetation. Over the past few decades, changes to Australia’s climate have been observed. The southeastern region of…

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