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Australia's Wildfires and Climate Change Are Making One Another Worse in a Vicious, Devastating Circle
The hot, dry conditions that primed southeastern Australia’s forest and fields for the bushfires that have been ravaging the country since September are likely to continue, scientists warn — and climate change has likely made the situation much worse.
Over the past few months, the bushfires have already scorched millions of acres, killed two dozen people, and slaughtered an estimated half a billion animals in the country, where it is currently summer. But scientists say that the risk of additional fires remains high. Southeastern Australia has been “abnormally dry” since September, which means that it would need significant rainfall repeatedly over a period of weeks to become damp enough to cut down the risk of fires, says Dan Pydynowski, a senior meteorologist at AccuWeather.