[ti:Australia Wildfires Investigation Calls for Climate Risk Assessment]
[00:00.04]Wildfires destroyed large parts of southeast Australia
[00:05.80]during the second half of 2019 and early in 2020.
[00:11.68]Late last week, Australian investigators released an official report on the fires.
[00:20.12]The investigators for greater efforts
[00:23.52]to predict the effects of climate change on the country.
[00:29.40]The report noted that fire behavior was becoming more extreme.
[00:36.56]The Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements
[00:42.84]began studying the fires in February.
[00:47.44]The fire season was so destructive that it is now known as Black Summer.
[00:53.76]The fires killed at least 33 people,
[00:57.72]destroyed more than 3,000 homes and burned 19 million hectares.
[01:05.32]Thousands of people were forced to leave affected areas.
[01:11.40]The Royal Commission said the smoke that covered much of the country,
[01:16.52]including major Australian cities, was partly to blame for hundreds of deaths.
[01:24.92]The commission's 578-page report made 80 suggestions.
[01:31.80]They include greater sharing of information across Australia
[01:37.00]on climate and disaster risks.
[01:41.28]The report said federal and state governments should make climate projections
[01:47.52]and agree on trajectories and timelines for likely climate change.
[01:54.96]It called on states to create fire maps that are shared nationally.
[02:01.20]Without this cooperation, the report said,
[02:04.96]it is "difficult to measure risk at a national scale."
[02:10.76]These measures will "improve the ability to predict or estimate
[02:15.84]the likelihood of extreme" wildfires, the report said.
[02:21.60]Mark Howden is a professor
[02:23.80]at the Australian National University's Climate Change Institute.
[02:29.08]He said the fire risk in some areas was a result of both fuel loads and climate.
[02:37.48]A fuel load is the amount of dead wood that can easily burn.
[02:43.80]Climate models were "a guide to future change and risk,
[02:48.40]but it's very clear across Australia that that change in risk is upward," Howden said.
[02:57.24]"So, it's a question...how quickly and how much that fire danger increases."
[03:04.56]Lawmakers in Australia's government have argued
[03:08.20]against the effect of climate change on the fire emergency.
[03:13.32]Some said the fires were set by arsonists.
[03:17.68]The report also said there was no question
[03:21.16]that more climate change is likely over the next 20 years.
[03:26.28]It also said the number of floods and fires will increase.
[03:32.36]Former New South Wales state Fire and Rescue Commissioner Greg Mullins
[03:38.40]agreed with the report's look at climate change.
[03:43.44]"The main point made in this report is that the Black Summer bushfires
[03:48.68]would not have happened if not for the effects of climate change
[03:53.20]and a warming planet," he said.
[03:57.44]The report also recommended that Australia
[04:00.84]develop its own aerial firefighting abilities
[04:04.96]and send water bombers to where they are needed most.
[04:09.64]The country now brings in firefighting airplanes
[04:13.20]from the Northern Hemisphere during its fire season.
[04:17.24]But, as a result of climate change, fire seasons
[04:22.08]in the two hemispheres often happen at the same time now.
[04:28.20]The report said that the prime minister should be given
[04:31.64]new legal power to declare a state of emergency.
[04:36.12]This, it said, would make it easier
[04:39.20]for the federal government to act during the wildfire season.
[04:45.24]I'm Susan Shand. 更多听力请访问51VOA.COM