EIANZ News

EIANZ Fellow Dr Tom Beer interviewed by franceinfo on Australia's devastating bushfires

Published 31 Jan 2020

The below was translated from French and edited for clarity. Please see the original article at the franceinfo website. 

 

Over 30 years ago, he was already sounding the alarm. Tom Beer is a former scientist at CSIRO, the Australian government body for scientific research. "I was hired in 1986 to conduct a study on the effects of climate change on fires," he told franceinfo. In his results, published two years later, he made an alarming observation: "We discovered that there would be a dramatic increase in the severity of fires." 

Concretely, he explained that with the increase in the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere, the temperature would rise, the humidity would drop, and thus the fires would amplify, as the Guardian details. His prediction has been confirmed and Australia is today facing gigantic forest fires. 

Click here to watch the video interview with Dr Tom Beer, FEIANZ.

It's a bit schizophrenic: on the one hand, I am satisfied to see that the result of my research was correct, but on the other, I am terrified to see what is happening and that there has not been enough action taken to stop global warming. 
                                  
 - Dr Tom Beer

He even deplores a worse situation than he expected: "In 1988, the severity of the fires was calculated from 0 to 100. A fire at 100 was the worst that could occur. But in 2009, the fires [which raged in the state of Victoria] were already so important that 100 was too low, " he said. Ten years later, the number of homes has even multiplied and the fire has claimed more than 80,000 square kilometers of land