1.This summer's bushfire season is the worst Australia's ever seen, with fires currently blazing across the country.
2.These fires have also brought an unprecedented level of death and destruction — not only to our fellow countrymen, but to our precious land and wildlife.
3.The situation has been compared to similar natural disasters in other parts of the world, including the 2018 California wildfires — but the size and scale of what's going on in Australia is unprecedented.
4.And the impacts of the fires are being felt from afar, with smoke plumes stretching across the Tasman Sea to neighbouring New Zealand.
5.In order to understand the scale of this disaster, many climate scientists and data experts have been comparing the size of the Australian fires to major cities across the globe.
6.If we were to compare the Australian fires and the smoke they've produced to the size of Europe, about half the continent would be covered in a smoke cloud.
7.And if we were to compare the blaze to the size of other countries, well, some of them would have burned many times over.
8.The situation is dire even for people not living directly in bushfire areas. Air quality in many cities and towns has exceeded hazardous levels.
9.Meaning that breathing in the toxic air on some days is almost as bad as smoking a packet of cigarettes.
10.Many have attributed the severity of the fires to global warming.
11.And the increase in local temperatures over the past century certainly supports that claim.
12.This research — completed by climate scientists almost two years ago — forecasted that southern parts of Australia would see increased fire danger should the global temperature increase by 2 degrees.
13.And this chart shows how Australia has gotten hotter and dryer in recent years, which has contributed to the current inferno.
14.There have been suggestions that the out-of-control nature of these fires has been partially due to a decrease in hazard reduction activities, aka controlled burns – but they have actually remained consistent for the past few years.
15.And when it comes to finding funds to combat climate... former NSW government minister Verity Firth shared this suggestion.
If you'd like to do something to help fight the Australian fires, please donate to the NSW Rural Fire Service (who are supporting emergency fire services), the Australian Red Cross (who are helping people who have been displaced due to this crisis) and WIRES (who are rescuing and supporting Australian wildlife).