Update on a Catastrophe: Now more than One Billion Animals Dead Downunder

January 9, 2020

University of Sydney:

Update on number of animals killed in Australian bushfires: Sydney expertShareProfessor Chris Dickman has revised his estimate of the number of animals killed in bushfires in NSW to more than 800 million animals, with a national impact of more than one billion animals.

Several weeks ago Professor Dickman, from the University of Sydney’s Faculty of Science, estimated that 480 million animals would be killed by the fires. With the fires having now continued and extended their range he has updated that figure including putting the impact nationally at more than one billion animals.

Speaking to National Public Radio in America Professor Dickman said, “I think there’s nothing quite to compare with the devastation that’s going on over such a large area so quickly. It’s a monstrous event in terms of geography and the number of individual animals affected.”

“We know that Australian biodiversity has been going down over the last several decades, and it’s probably fairly well known that Australia’s got the world’s highest rate of extinction for mammals. It’s events like this that may well hasten the extinction process for a range of other species. So, it’s a very sad time.

“What we’re seeing are the effects of climate change. Sometimes, it’s said that Australia is the canary in the coal mine with the effects of climate change being seen here most severely and earliest… We’re probably looking at what climate change may look like for other parts of the world in the first stages in Australia at the moment,” said Professor Dickman from the Faculty of Science.

“I think there is a feeling among environmental scientists and ecologists in Australia that we’ve been frozen out of the debate, certainly out of policymaking. I think it’s now time to bring the scientists back into the tent to look at what is likely to be happening over the next few decades and to think about how we can maintain both the human community in good health and as much biodiversity as can be retained under this evolving situation.”

Professor Dickman explains that animals that survive the fires in the first instance by fleeing or going underground will return or re-emerge into areas that don’t have the resources to support them. Others will fall victim to introduced predators such as feral cats and red foxes. Even for those birds or animals able to flee to unaffected areas they will rarely be able to successfully compete with animals already living there and succumb within a short time.

5 Responses to “Update on a Catastrophe: Now more than One Billion Animals Dead Downunder”

  1. Sir Charles Says:

    Australia is world’s biggest exporter of coal. And the country is just preparing a new mega project: The Adani’s Carmichael mine which will…

    * Destroy the ancestral lands, waters and cultures of Indigenous people without their consent.
    * Allow 500 more coal ships to travel through the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area every year for 60 years.
    * Get access to 270 billion litres of Queensland’s precious groundwater for 60 years, for free.
    * Risk damaging aquifers of the Great Artesian Basin.
    * Add 4.6 billion tonnes of carbon pollution to our atmosphere

    Please take action here => https://www.marketforces.org.au/info/key-issues/theadanilist/

  2. Sir Charles Says:

    Just another day of insanity…

    Updates from
    Today’s Climate
    01/09/2020

    Trump Moves to Limit Environmental Reviews, Erase Climate Change from NEPA

    President Donald Trump on Thursday proposed sharply limiting environmental reviews of pipelines and other major federally permitted infrastructure projects, a move that would sweep away a hurdle slowing his agenda for unfettered fossil fuel development. The new guidance would curb federal agencies from considering climate impacts.

    (InsideClimate News)

    3 Arctic Wilderness Areas to Watch as Trump Tries to Expand Oil & Gas Drilling

    When President Donald Trump entered the White House in 2017, his intention was clear that he planned to open up public lands to oil and gas drilling, particularly along three fronts in the Alaskan Arctic. Once land is leased, it’s a complicated process to undo. That’s why environmental groups want to stop lease sales in sensitive areas before it’s too late.

    (InsideClimate News)

    Democrats Outline Sweeping Legislation to Make U.S. Carbon Neutral by 2050

    House Democrats outlined their vision for sweeping climate legislation Wednesday, offering a first look at a bill that would push the U.S. to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, including a requirement that utilities work toward 100 percent carbon-free electricity and the transportation sector reaches zero-emissions by that date.

    (The Hill)

    Extreme Weather and Climate Disasters Cost the U.S. Billions in 2019, NOAA Reports

    The United States experienced another year of extreme weather in 2019. With the Midwest flooding and extreme rainfall in Texas from Tropical Storm Imelda, it was an above-average year for weather- and climate-related damage, according to NOAA’s annual U.S. climate assessment.

    (CBS)

    Fires in Amazon Rose 30 Percent in 2019

    The number of fires in the Amazon rainforest—considered a key carbon sink in the fight against climate change—grew 30.5 percent in 2019 from the previous year, according to data released by space research agency INPE on Wednesday.

    (Reuters)

    Arctic Ice Melt Makes Permafrost Vulnerable

    Scientists have now found a historical link between sea ice in the Arctic and the presence or absence of permafrost. They say the expected disappearance of Arctic summer ice will speed up the loss of this permanently frozen ground, releasing both carbon and planet-warming methane emissions.

    (BBC)

    Bernie Sanders’s Latest Endorsement: The Sunrise Movement

    The Sunrise Movement, the collection of young climate activists who have roiled Capitol Hill and the Democratic presidential primary, announced on Thursday that it is endorsing Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont.

    (The New York Times)

    Extreme Weather Leaves Congo Capital Residents Underwater

    Democratic Republic of Congo is one of several central African countries to be hit by severe flooding in recent months, which researchers have attributed to increasingly intense and unpredictable weather linked to global warming.

    (Reuters)

  3. Sir Charles Says:

    Watch the 2020 Doomsday Clock Announcement on January 23

    The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists will host a live international news conference at 10 a.m. EST/1500 GMT on Thursday, January 23, 2020, to announce the 2020 time of the Doomsday Clock. The news conference will take place at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. Watch the announcement live on our website or on our Facebook page.

    We are honored that members of The Elders—an organization founded in 2007 by Nelson Mandela whose members are former public officials working independently for peace, justice, and human rights—will be joining us this year. Speakers for the Doomsday Clock announcement on January 23, 2020 include:

    Jerry Brown, executive chair, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists; former Governor, State of California

    Mary Robinson, chair, The Elders; former president of Ireland; former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

    Ban Ki-moon, deputy chair, The Elders; former UN Secretary-General former South Korean Foreign Minister

    Rachel Bronson, president and CEO; Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

    Sivan Kartha, Science and Security Board, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists; senior scientist at the Stockholm Environmental Institute; author of the Fifth and Sixth Assessment Reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

    Robert Latiff, Science and Security Board, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists; Fellow, University of Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study; member, Intelligence Community Studies Board, and the Committee on International Security and Arms Control of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine

    Robert Rosner, chair, Science and Security Board, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists; William E. Wrather Distinguished Service Professor in the Departments of Astronomy & Astrophysics and Physics, and the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago. Rosner served as Director of Argonne National Laboratory, where he had also served as Chief Scientist

    Sharon Squassoni, Science and Security Board, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists; Research Professor at the Institute for International Science and Technology Policy, Elliott School of International Affairs, The George Washington University

    Read the 2019 Doomsday Clock Statement. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Help us spread the word–forward this to a friend and ask them to sign up for our updates. And look for the hashtag #DoomsdayClock on January 23rd.

  4. Keith McClary Says:

    Australian Hunters to Kill 10,000 Feral Camels from Helicopters Amid Worsening Drought
    https://www.livescience.com/australian-hunters-kill-camels-helicopters-drought-fire-season.html

    • Sir Charles Says:

      “More than 1 million of the humped creatures wander Australia. They aren’t from the continent, but arrived in the 1840s on ships — brought in as an ideal means of transport for the country’s vast deserts. Nearly 200 years later, they’re mostly feral pests, destroying habitats and competing with humans and native species for resources, according to Earther. And amid the worst drought and fire season in national memory, Australia wants to kill 10,000 of them from helicopters.

      Indigenous elders in the state of South Australia approved the plan, after a series of incidents in which parched camels, desperate for water in the drought-ravaged landscape, created major problems for their human neighbors”

      Further:

      “If culling did not take place, the camel population would double every eight to 10 years.”

      => https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/australasia/australia-wildfires-camels-shot-killed-helicopters-water-drought-bushfires-a9273366.html


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