The Australian Actuaries Climate Index shows a combination of weather conditions in the Spring of 2019 that are likely to have fuelled the bushfires currently devastating the country.
“Fire risk is influenced by a number of weather conditions, including high temperature and dryness, which increase the risk of the initial outbreak of fire,” said Rade Musulin, Finity Principal and Australian Actuaries Climate Index spokesperson. “High winds result bushfires spreading rapidly.” All three of these factors were observed in the Spring of 2019.
“The Indian Ocean Dipole has dissipated and thus we should see a return to more normal conditions shortly. However, global warming is affecting Australia, so these natural cycles are superimposed on a long-term trend,” said Rade.
Key findings of the AACI include:
- Every region experienced above reference period average extreme high temperatures and several regions broke records
- Above reference period average consecutive dry days were observed in every region except Tasmania
- Extreme wind levels for Australia as a whole were the fourth highest
- The combination of extreme heat, dryness and high levels of wind are likely to have laid the foundations of the severe bushfires observed in recent months.
Read more here: The New Daily