“Firenadoes, ember attacks and megafires: Australia is seeing sci-fi weather”
by Andrew Freedman and Sarah Kaplan
The Washington Post January 13, 2020
Rev 8:7 “A third of the earth was burned up, and a third of the trees were burned up, and all the green grass was burned up.”
Rev 16:8-9 “The sun was given it to scorch men with fire. Men were scorched with fierce heat.”
Australian forest expert, Virginia Young, had contributed to research predicting longer and more severe bush-fire seasons in Australia as the planet warms. However, the data is suggesting that Australia is on the brink of a “major ecological shift” for the following reasons:
Weather temperatures are breaking records that scientists did not expect for decades due to global warming leading to climate change. In December, Australia broke record highs twice in two days. The average temperature across the continent was 5.8˚F above the norm. “Australia has never been as hot and dry at the same time as it has been during the spring and summer of 2019 and 2020.”
Forest-fire danger index was the highest on record in December 2019.
Landscapes thought resistant to fire, like rainforests, are going up in flames.
Blazes are so big they produce extreme weather phenomena: Fire tornadoes overturn trucks. Ember attacks from violent winds carry debris from wildfires igniting new fires.
Fire-generated thunderstorms known as pyrocumulonimbus clouds are caused by extreme heat rising into the atmosphere. These clouds are appearing on a large scale never seen before by scientists.
Air temperatures up to 158˚F have been recorded as pyrocumulonimbus clouds approach.
Restarted fires appear in forests already burned down, because as William Moomaw, a climate scientist at Tufts University in Massachusetts said, “Basically you’ve created a lot of charcoal.”
Megafires form where two wildfires converge.
Scale of the fire season breaks all records according to Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology last week. Fifteen million acres of forest and farmland have burned. The fires in New South Wales are the largest in state history and burned more area than ever documented before.
Forty-mile-an-hour fires race across the terrain over taking millions of animals and at least 25 people who failed to evacuate in time.
Carbon sinks turn to carbon sources as wildfires remove massive forests exacerbating the very problem that causes it. Adding more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere through fires increases global warming.
Antarctic temperatures broke all records causing the polar vortex to break down and reverse direction . . . inflicting Australia with intense winds and little rain.
The perfect storm from a combination of weather events set the stage for catastrophic fires according to Amy Butler, a researcher at the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences in Colorado. This extreme will eventually become the new norm.
Scientists say that the extreme weather unfolding in Australia illustrates the kind of disasters that will soon overtake the rest of the world. “Australia: you have just experienced the future,” tweeted Ed Hawkins, a climate scientist at the University of Reading in England.
Though the planet has warmed by 1.8˚F since preindustrial times, Australia in 2019 was 2.7˚ warmer than average.
Retrieved on January 14, 2020 from
Article Review: Fires
by Johnny Dodd taken from on-site reporter K. C. Baker for PEOPLE on January 20, 2020
Other details of Australia’s 2019-2020 fires as of January 20, 2020: (1) fires were preceded by a record-breaking three-year drought and temperatures; (2) fires soared in air temperatures of 110˚F; (3) 136 fires burning across New South Wales alone, while fires raging in the north (Darwin), east (Brisbane), wouth (Sydney and Melbourne), and west (Perth to Adelaide) are so massive that they can be seen with satellite pictures (shown in article); (4) entire towns have been reduced to ash with 1,300 homes destroyed, 24 human lives taken with countless thousands evacuating every way possible, including naval ships; (5) 480 million animals died; and (6) 14.8 million acres have burned including millions of acres of eucalyptus forests–food required for the survival of koala bears that are being pushed to the brink of extinction.
The New York Times quoted scientist Jim Radford from Melbourne’s La Trobe University: “It really is an ecological Armageddon.”