Extreme events

A sign with fire danger ratings

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.

Two people in high visibility clothing standing in burnt wreckage

Building bushfire resilience to preserve life and property requires consideration of buildings, individuals, communities and the environment.

A small house surrounded and engulfed by flames

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.

Croc awaits rain

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.

Bushfires and heatwaves will be more common

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.

A team looking at the effect of a warming climate on the frequency and severity of La Niña events has found they are likely to be twice as frequent in future.

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.