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Australia’s bushfire season saw spikes in emergency respiratory visits and inhaler sales, report finds
The 2019–20 Australian bushfire season saw unprecedented fires and black smoke sweep across the country, leading to increases in emergency department visits for respiratory problems and in sales of asthma medication.
A report from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) published on Wednesday examined some of the short-term health impacts of the bushfires by examining hospital emergency department presentations in New South Wales from September 2019 to February 2020. Data from air quality monitoring stations in NSW, the Australian Capital Territory and parts of Victoria were also examined…
Can We Blame 2020’s Record Hurricane Season on Climate Change? It’s Complicated.
With 30 named storms so far, five landfalls in Louisiana and 12 total in the U.S., it’s already well established that the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season is one for the record books.
It also begs the question: What role did climate change play in this year’s unrelenting parade of hurricanes and tropical storms? That’s where the waters get murky.
The wild season in and of itself isn’t clearly connected to climate change, according to Kevin Petty, director of science and forecast operations for The Weather Company, an IBM company.
“It’s a really great question. First and foremost, what I would say is we are experiencing climate change and as human beings we are having an impact on our planet and contributing to different aspects of climate change,” Petty said. “But to actually say that there’s a definitive signal between climate change and what we have seen from the 2020 hurricane season, I don’t think that you can say that. That signal is just not there.”
Both Petty and Bob Henson, a meteorologist and climate writer who also spoke to weather.com about this year’s historic season, pointed out that while several hurricane-related records were shattered in the Atlantic, that’s not the only place storms form…