In this article, we will discuss Australian Bushfire (Miscellaneous Impacts Part-1). So, let’s get started.
Impact on Mental Health
Fires not only cause physical harm; many people experience mental trauma from the experience of emergency evacuation and losing homes, pets, belongings, livestock or other sources of livelihoods. Some communities found themselves unable to evacuate quickly when lost electricity meant fuel stations weren’t operational or blocked roads kept people trapped in high risk areas. Some were forced to seek safety on beaches and on boats, sheltering children overnight while witnessing unprecedented firestorms. Such experiences can have lasting mental health impacts across affected communities.
Impact on Climate
The bushfires have not only been made more likely and intense by climate change, they also add to it. Until the 2019–2020 Australian bushfire season, the forests in Australia were thought to reabsorb all the carbon released in bushfires across the country. This would mean the forests achieved net zero emissions. However, global warming is making bushfires burn more intensely and frequently and the 2019–2020 bushfires have already emitted 400 megatonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, according to the Copernicus monitoring programme. This is as much as Australia’s average annual carbon dioxide emissions in just the past three months. These will increase Australia’s annual greenhouse gas emissions, contributing to global warming, and heighten the likelihood of recurring megafires that will release yet more emissions. This is a deeply concerning climate feedback loop.