Bushfire in Australia: understanding ‘hell on Earth’
A bushfire is one of the most terrifying natural phenomena that anyone is likely to experience in Australia. To be caught in a bushfire is to witness a true hell on earth — conditions hot enough to melt metal, heat fluxes that literally vaporise vegetation, and smoke plumes so dense they turn day into night.
Fire danger: topography, weather and fuel
The ‘fire behaviour triangle’ – topography, weather and fuel – represents the three key factors that influence how a bushfire behaves. Weaken any one of these and a bushfire becomes more manageable.
Bushfire resilience: preparing yourself and your property
Building bushfire resilience to preserve life and property requires consideration of buildings, individuals, communities and the environment.
Bushfire-proof houses: raising the standards
Designing houses to withstand bushfire is about balancing not only the bushfire resilience of the house but also the aesthetic qualities and functionality. Researchers have helped develop a new standard with the housing industry for bushfire-proofing steel framed houses.
Paris, truffles and extreme weather – it’s all relative
Crocodiles stuck in the mud - researchers are discovering that native species have their limits when it comes to Australia's extreme weather, particularly during El Niño.
Climate change and extreme weather: understanding the link
There is a strong interest in understanding the changing odds of extreme weather events as the underlying climate system changes. Scientists have examined extreme weather events of 2014 to see if they can be attributed to climate change.
Bushfires kill, but knowing exactly how might make them less deadly
The latest round of bushfires, which claimed 27 homes in the Adelaide Hills, has once again highlighted the importance of planning for the worst. Mercifully, no human lives were lost, and it will be important to learn whatever lessons we can to avoid future tragedies.