Bushfire

Dry landscape burning with red son and black trees

Sydney and New South Wales (NSW) north coast residents continue to battle poor air quality as a result of fires burning through the state. Our bushfire expert Andrew Sullivan delves beyond the smoke haze to explain the current crisis and the tough conditions ahead.

A bushfire burns in the distance in Victoria.

The field of climate change event attribution research has emerged recently and can provide new insights into Australian climate extremes.

Burnt pencil pine and alpine flora, Mackenzie fire, Tasmania.

A collision of severe weather events can destroy lives and infrastructure, destabilising economies and ecosystems. In a rapidly warming world the frequency and magnitude of these compound events will only increase, according to the latest report from the IPCC.

A DIY gadget for detecting smoke has enabled primary school students to play detective and track down problems in the air around them.

green seedlings sprouting from blackened ground

Most plant research focuses on grown plants or on seedling behaviour. It is only now that researchers are beginning to examine seed traits and how the beginning of a plant’s life affects everything which comes after.

houses destroyed by fier with sea in the background

Out of the ashes of the Tathra bushfire, and stories of heartbreaking loss and survival, a picture is emerging of how research is helping to save properties and improve bushfire outcomes.

They’re one of the strongest bonds in chemistry and are not only unique in the way they can be used to fight fire, but unique in the way they leach through soils into the environment. A new paper suggests understanding first how PFAS chemicals behave in soils requires a large-scale soils study and, perhaps, a global research effort if we’re to work towards a solution.

Grass on fire with firefighters in background

A lot has been learned about fire behaviour from the bushfires that have lashed the Australian continent in the past. But to really refine fire behaviour knowledge, researchers need to put their hypotheses to the test through carefully orchestrated large-scale field experiments.

smoke plumes in the distance with a tussocky peninsula in foreground

In 2006, when fires broke out near Cape Grim, Tasmania, scientists measured the smoke plumes in unprecedented detail, resulting in a more accurate smoke forecasting tool for use in weather forecasting, and for issuing health-related smoke warnings.