If you're feeling the heat right now, it's not just you. A new report from the Climate Council says 2015 is shaping up to be the hottest year on record.
The Climate Council's report says that Australia's bushfire season could be as ferocious as the devastating fires that have swept across the United States, destroying a whopping 38,000 square kilometres of land. That's an area half the size of Tasmania.
Now the Climate Council – an expert group of academics and business people providing independent and accurate information on climate change – warning that severe droughts, plus rising global temperatures could spell the same fate for Australia.
That warning is backed up by the government-funded Bushfire and Natural Hazards Cooperative Research Centre, which has updated its seasonal bushfire outlook for 2015-2016.
We've already seen Australia's bushfire season starting early, and with tragic consequences. On Wednesday, at least four people were killed in a fire at Esperance, Western Australia.
Australia will need to double the amount of professional firefighters by the year 2030.
Right now, Australian firefighting agencies have deals with other countries where they share water bombing aircraft and personnel. But as the northern and southern hemisphere fire seasons get longer and start to overlap, it starts to be a problem.
Over the years, Watts has seen a change in the way bushfires spread. "It's more rapid onset type of fires, that occur quickly and take off fast," he said.
The Climate Council says the conditions are creating a "ticking time bomb" in Australia.
Alexandra Lee is a politics reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Sydney, Australia.
Contact Alex Lee at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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