Written by Taylor Patterson, ERS
Word of Australia’s catastrophic wildfires has spread across the globe. It is nearly impossible to quantify the damage done to the ecosystems burning in the deadly inferno, which has eliminated critical plants, wildlife, and energy sources across the continent. Many scientists and journalists agree that climate change is partly to blame for the ongoing fires – and that devastating effects of climate change, such as forest fires, could be leaving ecosystems past the point of no return.
Environmental disasters, such as the one Australia is currently battling, are more far more damaging than the devastation seen at the surface. A domino effect sends the entire environmental well-being of our planet out of whack, altering ecosystems, weather patterns, natural resource availability, and energy supply. This can create ever-challenging barriers in the already demanding field of clean energy.
The impact of changing weather patterns and ecosystems as a result of climate change significantly infringes on the world of energy. Not only are natural resources like fresh water and clean air affected, but when the remains of a destructed forest cannot grow back into what it once was and that forest is replaced with grasslands, resource availability shifts. There are fewer trees to provide oxygen and soak up excess CO2 and less ground roots to hold soil structure and prevent erosion; and the overall ecosystem warms due to increased sun exposure. By taking better care of planet Earth, the human race can alleviate the detriment of environmental disasters, continue ministering to our environmental needs, and persevere to reach sustainability goals that will help save the planet.
The following article discusses the theory of how climate change has led to the Australia wildfires, highlighting how rising land temperatures feed into the destructive cycle of worsening forest fire conditions, harboring environmental factors that encourage fires to grow in strength and size and foster their destructive behavior.