Australia’s bushfires that have been raging on for months have burned two times more land than the notorious Amazon Rainforest fires that devastated the natural habitats of Brazil over the summer of 2019.
Since the start of the bushfire crisis in September, an estimated 6 million hectares of land burned along with some 500 million animals that got trapped in ravaged areas with no means of escape.
According to the estimations, the amount of land burned is twice higher than the 3 million hectares of destroyed Amazon rainforest in the previous year.
While the unforgiving blaze in Brazil resulted in major damages to the fragile, protected ecosystems, Australia’s fires also had a major effect on the country’s communities and the economy.
For another comparison, and to better understand the extent of the crisis, the California fires that occurred in 2018 have savaged 800,000 hectares of land.
“We used to see hundreds of thousands of hectares burned in bushfires, but now we are seeing millions on fire,” Dr. Pep Canadell, a senior Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation research scientist, said.
As the expert suggested, it could take Australia decades or even centuries to completely recover from the disaster.
“It is drying in south-east Australia, that prompts the question if these trees will be able to bring all that carbon back [into regrowth],” Dr. Canadell added.
“We may need more than 100 years to get back to where we were, after those mature forests with beautiful tall gum trees have burned.”
In addition to the visible destruction, the Australia fires contributed to the release of an additional 350 million metric tons of carbon dioxygen, more than two times the amount released during Amazon fires.
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