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Down Under Becomes More Dangerous

Posted by on April 5, 2014

When first thinking about Australia, what typically comes to mind is the strange and unusual wildlife unique to the country. From what we discussed in class, the venomous animals and large insects are by far your least concern compared to the intense heat waves that have been hitting the country hard. The record temperatures of 2009 were quickly beaten by this past January’s even higher heat wave, as temperature remained constant at 115 degrees (F) for days. Along with the health risks, raging wildfires threatened many peoples lives and homes.  We have similar wildfires here in the US, like the ones in California and Colorado, but like many things in Australia, theirs are bigger and badder. Although the ones that occurred this past summer may not have been as bad as recent years, they are coming more quickly and growing as they do. In 2009, Australia experienced ‘Black Saturday‘ which was a devastating wildfire that killed a record number of 173 people just in one day. In the article linked with the title, it goes on to say that this year, the fires started coming as early as spring, which is not a good sign for the coming years as climate change increases. The source for this picture is a really short but interesting article all about how the victims of the fires were awarded over 30 million for damages for property among other things, and it just highlights the cycle of responsibility that we’ve seen before. Rising emissions and pollution contribute to greenhouse gases which further climate change, increasing the likelihood of these wildfires to occur.

http://www.perthnow.com.au/news/black-saturday-victims-win-32-million/story-e6frg12c-1226357541177

http://www.perthnow.com.au/news/black-saturday-victims-win-32-million/story-e6frg12c-1226357541177

Apart from the crazy wildfires, I found a really strange article that discussed a heat wave effect that I had no idea was possible. Apparently, the heat has been so high throughout the day and night that it actually caused a mass of deaths. But instead of people, it was…bats. This article is a bit descriptive and pretty shocking, but it shows the far reaching impacts that affect more than just people. Essentially,  climate change causes more than just stress on people, and it will “obviously.. have a pretty disturbing impact on those colonies and those colonies are vital to our ecosystem”(The Telegraph)Australia can be seen as a case study, where a developed country can still face serious implications of climate change, that affects all parts of the environment.

Claire

 

2 Responses to Down Under Becomes More Dangerous

  1. cmccartney

    I hadn’t thought too much about the reliance on a/c but in this article it mentions how power companies had to selectively choose who to cut off electricity from, in order to redirect power to hospitals and other buildings. This caused a lot of uproar but power companies simply had to do this or risk everything being overloaded! This is just another example of how renewable energy for electricity is even more necessary.

  2. Dr. Szulczewski

    These heat disasters are going to become more and more common around the world. In some ways, developed countries aren’t prepared after the pampering of a/c and freezers and all.

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