The climate crisis made Australia's wildfires at least 30% more likely, study finds

Updated 3:58 PM ET, Wed March 4, 2020

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(CNN)The devastating wildfires that burned across Australia last year and into 2020 were made far more likely and intense by the climate crisis, a new analysis shows.

Scientists found that the chances of the kind of extreme weather that triggered the blazes have increased by more than 30% since 1900, and that fire conditions like this are at least four times more likely than they were at the start of the 20th century.
However, the authors say that this is likely a conservative estimate, and that the risk of fires may have grown by far more than 30% due to the climate models' underestimations of the actual increases in extreme temperatures and heatwaves.
"We found that climate models struggle to reproduce these extreme events and their trends realistically," Dr. Geert Jan van Oldenborgh of the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute who contributed to this analysis said in a statement.
Panicked horses flee a bushfire near Canberra, Australia, on February 1, 2020. A new study finds that the recent fire that swept through the country were made far more likely by the climate crisis.