Feb 1, 2016

Environmental change expert says Tasmanian fires can be attributed to climate change

Tasmania
Australia
by
Fran Kelly
,
ABC Australia
In Australia, severe bushfires often occur after record high temperatures, low relative humidity and strong winds. Photo: Getty
In Australia, severe bushfires often occur after record high temperatures, low relative humidity and strong winds. Photo: Getty

Firefighters are continuing to battle terrible fires in Tasmania's remote and rugged world heritage forests. A Tasmanian fire scientist is now warning there are signs of what he calls 'system collapse'. David Bowman, Professor of Environmental Change Biology at the University of Tasmania, has likened the disaster to the annual peat fires that, each year, blanket South East Asia in acrid smoke at great economic and health costs. He says the case is strong these fires are climate change related, and that there will be more in the future threatening the existence of some of the nations most valuable forests.