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The Fires Next Time : Understanding Australia's Black Summer - Peter Christoff

The Fires Next Time

Understanding Australia's Black Summer

By: Peter Christoff (Editor)

Paperback | 28 November 2023

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Australia's Black Summer Fires

Following a three-year drought and during the hottest and driest year on record, a flume of scorching air set the Australian continent aflame. The Black Summer fires were unprecedented. Over six months in 2019-20 they burned more than 24 million hectares of Australia's southern and eastern forests - one of the largest areas burnt anywhere on Earth in a single event. The fires killed 33 people and 430 more died as an indirect consequence and they caused unfathomable harm to native species. Their economic ramifications were extensive and enduring.


State and federal governments and communities were under-prepared for that inferno and its many impacts. Yet global warming is increasing the likelihood of such events. The Fires Next Time offers a comprehensive assessment of the Black Summer fires. Its contributors analyse the event from many vantage points and disciplines - historical, climate scientific, ecological, economic, and political. They assess its impacts on human health and wellbeing, on native plants and animals, and on fire management and emergency response. They consider whether reactions could have been different, and what is needed to improve our handling of future bushfires.



Contributors include Sophie Aitken, Danielle Celermajer, Andrew Dowdy, Robyn Eckersley, Michael-Shawn Fletcher, Tom Griffiths, Michael Grose, Pham Van Ha, David Karoly, Rod Keenan, Andrew King, Tom Kompas, Christine Li, Greg Mullins, Stephen Pyne, Libby Rumpff, David Schlosberg, Kevin Tolhurst, Sotiris Vardoulakis, Iain Walker and Brendan Wintle.

About the Author

Peter Christoff is a political scientist, a senior Research Fellow with the Melbourne Climate Futures Initiative, and an honorary Associate Professor with the School of Geography, Atmospheric and Earth Sciences at the University of Melbourne. He writes about Australian and international climate and environmental politics and policy, and his books include Globalisation and the Environment (co-authored with Robyn Eckersley) and Four Degrees of Global Warming- Australia in a Hot World.

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