Australia's Bushfires Have Already Burned Twice as Much the Land as the Fires in the Amazon Rainforest

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Australia's Bushfires Have Already Burned Twice as Much the Land as the Fires in the Amazon Rainforest

The bushfires in Australia are so severe they have already burnt more than twice as much land as the fires in the Amazon rainforest.

Since September almost six million hectares have been destroyed across the nation compared to the three million hectares burnt in the Brazilian Amazon over summer.

While the fires in South America caused a significant impact on fragile ecosystems the fires in Australia have been notable for their impact on built-up communities.

The extent of the destruction has been depicted in a series of images created to demonstrate how bad the fires are for those living outside the country.

The total mass of destroyed land is being compared to the size of the country Belgium, to help those in Europe understand the extremity of the disaster.

In New South Wales alone the total land burnt stands at four million hectares.

The national figure is nearly double the size of the European nation and the total land burnt is nearly six times what was burnt during the wildfires in California in 2018 according to Insider.

The 2018 California fires burnt 800, 000 hectares.

Senior CSIRO research scientist and Executive Director for the Global Carbon Project Dr Pep Canadell told the Sydney Morning Herald the extent of the forest burning across Australia is unprecedented.

'We used to see hundreds of thousands of hectares burned in bushfires, but now we are seeing millions on fire,' he said.

He said the rate of growth will mean while Australia's forests used to be able to absorb the carbon released in fires, it's no longer going to be the case.

'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].

'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.'

The fires are creating a flow-on effect as they release carbon into the atmosphere.

As more land burns more carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere, the warmer the planet gets and the greater the risk of bigger, deadlier fires.

The fires burning in Australia have already released 350 million metric tons of CO2 into the atmosphere, about 1% of the global carbon emissions since 2019.

To put that in perspective the Amazon fires produced less than half of that figure- 140 million metric tons of CO2.

Source: The Daily Mail