Friday, 7 February 2020

"On average bushfires burn an amazing 50 million ha every year in Australia"

Mean annual area burned in Australia, Source Giglio et al 2013 (from Jo Nova)
"File this fact away: Satellite datasets show that in an average year 50 million hectares burn around Australia. In a quiet year, it’s only 20 million hectares, but in a busy year, it gets close to 100 million hectares. A lot of this land area is in the far north and western part of the continent, which is hot and often arid. It’s not the same as the cool wet corner of South-East Australia which has some of the tallest trees in the world. The fuel loads in the north are much lower (like the trees). Some parts of the top end burn nearly 100%, year after year.
     "So far this season the fires that gained so much attention around the world have burned around 10 million hectares, which is only a fifth of the usual area burnt... It’s no accident that the awful devastation this year was not in the red hot fire zone on the map above, but in the South-East corner where less than 5% of the area burns each year. The rarely burnt is the risky zone where there is a 20-year build-up of fuel..."
~ Jo Nova from her post 'On average bushfires burn an amazing 50 million ha every year in Australia'

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