Humans see just 4.7km into the distance. So how can we truly understand what the bushfires destroyed?
When the ashes from Australia’s last bushfire season cooled, we were left with a few mind-boggling numbers: 34 human lives lost, more than a billion animals dead, and 18.6 million hectares of land burned.
But those figures don’t necessarily help us understand what was lost. The human mind struggles to grasp very large scales. And in Australia, our colonial past skews the way we view landscapes today. This disconnect is important. Many scientific concepts, including climate change, happen at scales outside human perception.
Understanding the scale of destruction wrought by bushfires is vital if governments and societies are to adapt in the future. So how can Australians truly come to terms with the damage wrought by last summer’s bushfires…
Conditions are ripe for a major Atlantic hurricane in 2020
Emergency responders in the United States are already stretched thin by a pandemic and western wildfires, and states along the Atlantic coast and the Gulf of Mexico have yet to see the worst of what’s predicted to be an active and potentially destructive hurricane season.
“Things are unfortunately shaping up to be an active hurricane season in the Atlantic, which is probably not what people are wanting to hear,” says Phil Klotzbach, a meteorologist at Colorado State University who specializes in Atlantic Ocean hurricanes.
In an average year, around 12 named storms form—with anything from a tropical storm to a full-fledged hurricane earning an official moniker. This year, forecasters at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predict that anywhere from 13 to 19 large storms could spin up, with as many as six becoming major hurricanes…