46,050,750 acres of burning forest. A shadow cast over a country by a blackened sky. Trees that look like poles of fire and animals that once roamed the grounds freely no longer inhabiting the area. This is what the devastation in New South Wales Australia caused.
Any average person just 50 years ago would not have expected furious bushfires in Australia to happen. The world today is so technologically advanced that nobody realized the damage it would cause. That is, until the carbon emissions on earth became so unbearable. Until we start having forest fires raging for days. Until coral reefs no longer contain coral only debris. Until the polar ice caps begin to melt and ecosystem after ecosystem turn into landfills. Except for the fact that… it’s already happening.
The 2020 Climate Change Performance Index ranked Australia last out of 57 countries in their energy use. This index means that the country continues to receive very low ratings in the Energy Use category and ranks at the bottom of low performers in both the GHG Emissions and Renewable Energy categories. Australia has one of the highest per capita emissions of carbon dioxide in the world, with its 0.3% of the world’s population releasing 1.07% of the world’s greenhouse gases. According to the Index, “Many scientists are concerned about the risk of crossing tipping points, such as albedo change in Greenland and Antarctica and the melting permafrost which might amplify temperature rises. The year 2019 has seen an increasing severity of extreme weather events.” The overall albedo of the earth has a significant effect on the equilibrium temperature of the earth as it changes how much solar energy is reflected by the Earth as opposed to how much is absorbed. Too much absorption causes changes to the earth such as global warming and climate change.
The impact of fires in Australia are disastrous. So many animals have been displaced since the fire and many more have died. A startling 1 billion animals are now estimated dead in Australia’s fires. The number of kangaroos, koalas, and other species killed keeps skyrocketing. Where lucious forests and greenery once were is charred remains of animals and plant life.
How many more fires need to burn, storms destroy communities, and creatures be wiped from the earth before the world will wake up and realize the damage we have done and step in to make a difference?