Climate change: Australia faces 'more frequent and more severe' disasters

Report into devastating 2019-2020 bushfires says future events could overlap as global warning continues over the next two decades

Australians should be ready for "compounding" overlapping crises as they face more frequent, costly and severe climate change-worsened disasters, an inquiry into the nation's recent historic bushfires warned on Friday.

Following devastating 2019-2020 blazes that killed 33 people and burned an area the size of the United Kingdom or Ghana, a Royal Commission told Australians "what was unprecedented is now our future".

Predicting a future in which disasters "will regrettably be more frequent and more severe", the commission said: "We can also expect more concurrent and consecutive hazard events."

"In the last 12 months, there was drought, heatwaves and bushfires, followed by severe storms, flooding and a pandemic."

By the time the bushfires had ended in March, they had killed or displaced nearly three billion animals and cost the economy an estimated US$7 billion.

Smoke from the fires that blanketed much of Australia, including major cities, contributed to hundreds of deaths, the report said.

But the commission warned the annual cost of disasters was likely to rise to around $27bn by 2050, even before accounting for worsening global warming.

The report focused heavily on the impact of climate change in producing more extreme weather and noted: "Further global warming over the next two decades is inevitable."

"As a result, sea levels are projected to continue to rise. Tropical cyclones are projected to decrease in number, but increase in intensity. Floods and bushfires are expected to become more frequent and intense."

Among the 80 recommendations, the report called for better data and more granular projections about what climate change means for specific areas.

But it stopped short of calling on the conservative government – which has been slow to implement countermeasures – to address the underlying causes, leaving some experts disappointed.

"We have an overflowing bathtub of troubles," said La Trobe University ecologist Michael Clarke.

"Sure, we can focus on monitoring the levels in the bath, mopping up when it spills over, but we could also look at turning off the taps."

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has repeatedly played down the link between climate and the bushfires, and committed to keeping Australia as one of the world's leading exporters of coal and natural gas.

Bushfire-prone Australia has seen dozens of inquests into the causes of bushfires and steps that could be taken to mitigate them.

But many measures recommended by inquiries going back to the 1930s have still not been implemented.

The wildfire season has again opened in Australia. But unlike the last drought-parched season, above-average rainfall is forecast over eastern and northern Australia during the Southern Hemisphere summer. A more active tropical cyclone season is also forecast.

The specs: 2018 Volkswagen Teramont

Price, base / as tested Dh137,000 / Dh189,950

Engine 3.6-litre V6

Gearbox Eight-speed automatic

Power 280hp @ 6,200rpm

Torque 360Nm @ 2,750rpm

Fuel economy, combined 11.7L / 100km

The specs: 2018 Volkswagen Teramont

Price, base / as tested Dh137,000 / Dh189,950

Engine 3.6-litre V6

Gearbox Eight-speed automatic

Power 280hp @ 6,200rpm

Torque 360Nm @ 2,750rpm

Fuel economy, combined 11.7L / 100km

The specs: 2018 Volkswagen Teramont

Price, base / as tested Dh137,000 / Dh189,950

Engine 3.6-litre V6

Gearbox Eight-speed automatic

Power 280hp @ 6,200rpm

Torque 360Nm @ 2,750rpm

Fuel economy, combined 11.7L / 100km

The specs: 2018 Volkswagen Teramont

Price, base / as tested Dh137,000 / Dh189,950

Engine 3.6-litre V6

Gearbox Eight-speed automatic

Power 280hp @ 6,200rpm

Torque 360Nm @ 2,750rpm

Fuel economy, combined 11.7L / 100km

The specs: 2018 Volkswagen Teramont

Price, base / as tested Dh137,000 / Dh189,950

Engine 3.6-litre V6

Gearbox Eight-speed automatic

Power 280hp @ 6,200rpm

Torque 360Nm @ 2,750rpm

Fuel economy, combined 11.7L / 100km

The specs: 2018 Volkswagen Teramont

Price, base / as tested Dh137,000 / Dh189,950

Engine 3.6-litre V6

Gearbox Eight-speed automatic

Power 280hp @ 6,200rpm

Torque 360Nm @ 2,750rpm

Fuel economy, combined 11.7L / 100km

The specs: 2018 Volkswagen Teramont

Price, base / as tested Dh137,000 / Dh189,950

Engine 3.6-litre V6

Gearbox Eight-speed automatic

Power 280hp @ 6,200rpm

Torque 360Nm @ 2,750rpm

Fuel economy, combined 11.7L / 100km

The specs: 2018 Volkswagen Teramont

Price, base / as tested Dh137,000 / Dh189,950

Engine 3.6-litre V6

Gearbox Eight-speed automatic

Power 280hp @ 6,200rpm

Torque 360Nm @ 2,750rpm

Fuel economy, combined 11.7L / 100km

The specs: 2018 Volkswagen Teramont

Price, base / as tested Dh137,000 / Dh189,950

Engine 3.6-litre V6

Gearbox Eight-speed automatic

Power 280hp @ 6,200rpm

Torque 360Nm @ 2,750rpm

Fuel economy, combined 11.7L / 100km

The specs: 2018 Volkswagen Teramont

Price, base / as tested Dh137,000 / Dh189,950

Engine 3.6-litre V6

Gearbox Eight-speed automatic

Power 280hp @ 6,200rpm

Torque 360Nm @ 2,750rpm

Fuel economy, combined 11.7L / 100km

The specs: 2018 Volkswagen Teramont

Price, base / as tested Dh137,000 / Dh189,950

Engine 3.6-litre V6

Gearbox Eight-speed automatic

Power 280hp @ 6,200rpm

Torque 360Nm @ 2,750rpm

Fuel economy, combined 11.7L / 100km

The specs: 2018 Volkswagen Teramont

Price, base / as tested Dh137,000 / Dh189,950

Engine 3.6-litre V6

Gearbox Eight-speed automatic

Power 280hp @ 6,200rpm

Torque 360Nm @ 2,750rpm

Fuel economy, combined 11.7L / 100km

The specs: 2018 Volkswagen Teramont

Price, base / as tested Dh137,000 / Dh189,950

Engine 3.6-litre V6

Gearbox Eight-speed automatic

Power 280hp @ 6,200rpm

Torque 360Nm @ 2,750rpm

Fuel economy, combined 11.7L / 100km

The specs: 2018 Volkswagen Teramont

Price, base / as tested Dh137,000 / Dh189,950

Engine 3.6-litre V6

Gearbox Eight-speed automatic

Power 280hp @ 6,200rpm

Torque 360Nm @ 2,750rpm

Fuel economy, combined 11.7L / 100km

The specs: 2018 Volkswagen Teramont

Price, base / as tested Dh137,000 / Dh189,950

Engine 3.6-litre V6

Gearbox Eight-speed automatic

Power 280hp @ 6,200rpm

Torque 360Nm @ 2,750rpm

Fuel economy, combined 11.7L / 100km

The specs: 2018 Volkswagen Teramont

Price, base / as tested Dh137,000 / Dh189,950

Engine 3.6-litre V6

Gearbox Eight-speed automatic

Power 280hp @ 6,200rpm

Torque 360Nm @ 2,750rpm

Fuel economy, combined 11.7L / 100km

'Worse than a prison sentence'

Marie Byrne, a counsellor who volunteers at the UAE government's mental health crisis helpline, said the ordeal the crew had been through would take time to overcome.

“It was worse than a prison sentence, where at least someone can deal with a set amount of time incarcerated," she said.

“They were living in perpetual mystery as to how their futures would pan out, and what that would be.

“Because of coronavirus, the world is very different now to the one they left, that will also have an impact.

“It will not fully register until they are on dry land. Some have not seen their young children grow up while others will have to rebuild relationships.

“It will be a challenge mentally, and to find other work to support their families as they have been out of circulation for so long. Hopefully they will get the care they need when they get home.”

'Worse than a prison sentence'

Marie Byrne, a counsellor who volunteers at the UAE government's mental health crisis helpline, said the ordeal the crew had been through would take time to overcome.

“It was worse than a prison sentence, where at least someone can deal with a set amount of time incarcerated," she said.

“They were living in perpetual mystery as to how their futures would pan out, and what that would be.

“Because of coronavirus, the world is very different now to the one they left, that will also have an impact.

“It will not fully register until they are on dry land. Some have not seen their young children grow up while others will have to rebuild relationships.

“It will be a challenge mentally, and to find other work to support their families as they have been out of circulation for so long. Hopefully they will get the care they need when they get home.”

'Worse than a prison sentence'

Marie Byrne, a counsellor who volunteers at the UAE government's mental health crisis helpline, said the ordeal the crew had been through would take time to overcome.

“It was worse than a prison sentence, where at least someone can deal with a set amount of time incarcerated," she said.

“They were living in perpetual mystery as to how their futures would pan out, and what that would be.

“Because of coronavirus, the world is very different now to the one they left, that will also have an impact.

“It will not fully register until they are on dry land. Some have not seen their young children grow up while others will have to rebuild relationships.

“It will be a challenge mentally, and to find other work to support their families as they have been out of circulation for so long. Hopefully they will get the care they need when they get home.”

'Worse than a prison sentence'

Marie Byrne, a counsellor who volunteers at the UAE government's mental health crisis helpline, said the ordeal the crew had been through would take time to overcome.

“It was worse than a prison sentence, where at least someone can deal with a set amount of time incarcerated," she said.

“They were living in perpetual mystery as to how their futures would pan out, and what that would be.

“Because of coronavirus, the world is very different now to the one they left, that will also have an impact.

“It will not fully register until they are on dry land. Some have not seen their young children grow up while others will have to rebuild relationships.

“It will be a challenge mentally, and to find other work to support their families as they have been out of circulation for so long. Hopefully they will get the care they need when they get home.”

'Worse than a prison sentence'

Marie Byrne, a counsellor who volunteers at the UAE government's mental health crisis helpline, said the ordeal the crew had been through would take time to overcome.

“It was worse than a prison sentence, where at least someone can deal with a set amount of time incarcerated," she said.

“They were living in perpetual mystery as to how their futures would pan out, and what that would be.

“Because of coronavirus, the world is very different now to the one they left, that will also have an impact.

“It will not fully register until they are on dry land. Some have not seen their young children grow up while others will have to rebuild relationships.

“It will be a challenge mentally, and to find other work to support their families as they have been out of circulation for so long. Hopefully they will get the care they need when they get home.”

'Worse than a prison sentence'

Marie Byrne, a counsellor who volunteers at the UAE government's mental health crisis helpline, said the ordeal the crew had been through would take time to overcome.

“It was worse than a prison sentence, where at least someone can deal with a set amount of time incarcerated," she said.

“They were living in perpetual mystery as to how their futures would pan out, and what that would be.

“Because of coronavirus, the world is very different now to the one they left, that will also have an impact.

“It will not fully register until they are on dry land. Some have not seen their young children grow up while others will have to rebuild relationships.

“It will be a challenge mentally, and to find other work to support their families as they have been out of circulation for so long. Hopefully they will get the care they need when they get home.”

'Worse than a prison sentence'

Marie Byrne, a counsellor who volunteers at the UAE government's mental health crisis helpline, said the ordeal the crew had been through would take time to overcome.

“It was worse than a prison sentence, where at least someone can deal with a set amount of time incarcerated," she said.

“They were living in perpetual mystery as to how their futures would pan out, and what that would be.

“Because of coronavirus, the world is very different now to the one they left, that will also have an impact.

“It will not fully register until they are on dry land. Some have not seen their young children grow up while others will have to rebuild relationships.

“It will be a challenge mentally, and to find other work to support their families as they have been out of circulation for so long. Hopefully they will get the care they need when they get home.”

'Worse than a prison sentence'

Marie Byrne, a counsellor who volunteers at the UAE government's mental health crisis helpline, said the ordeal the crew had been through would take time to overcome.

“It was worse than a prison sentence, where at least someone can deal with a set amount of time incarcerated," she said.

“They were living in perpetual mystery as to how their futures would pan out, and what that would be.

“Because of coronavirus, the world is very different now to the one they left, that will also have an impact.

“It will not fully register until they are on dry land. Some have not seen their young children grow up while others will have to rebuild relationships.

“It will be a challenge mentally, and to find other work to support their families as they have been out of circulation for so long. Hopefully they will get the care they need when they get home.”

'Worse than a prison sentence'

Marie Byrne, a counsellor who volunteers at the UAE government's mental health crisis helpline, said the ordeal the crew had been through would take time to overcome.

“It was worse than a prison sentence, where at least someone can deal with a set amount of time incarcerated," she said.

“They were living in perpetual mystery as to how their futures would pan out, and what that would be.

“Because of coronavirus, the world is very different now to the one they left, that will also have an impact.

“It will not fully register until they are on dry land. Some have not seen their young children grow up while others will have to rebuild relationships.

“It will be a challenge mentally, and to find other work to support their families as they have been out of circulation for so long. Hopefully they will get the care they need when they get home.”

'Worse than a prison sentence'

Marie Byrne, a counsellor who volunteers at the UAE government's mental health crisis helpline, said the ordeal the crew had been through would take time to overcome.

“It was worse than a prison sentence, where at least someone can deal with a set amount of time incarcerated," she said.

“They were living in perpetual mystery as to how their futures would pan out, and what that would be.

“Because of coronavirus, the world is very different now to the one they left, that will also have an impact.

“It will not fully register until they are on dry land. Some have not seen their young children grow up while others will have to rebuild relationships.

“It will be a challenge mentally, and to find other work to support their families as they have been out of circulation for so long. Hopefully they will get the care they need when they get home.”

'Worse than a prison sentence'

Marie Byrne, a counsellor who volunteers at the UAE government's mental health crisis helpline, said the ordeal the crew had been through would take time to overcome.

“It was worse than a prison sentence, where at least someone can deal with a set amount of time incarcerated," she said.

“They were living in perpetual mystery as to how their futures would pan out, and what that would be.

“Because of coronavirus, the world is very different now to the one they left, that will also have an impact.

“It will not fully register until they are on dry land. Some have not seen their young children grow up while others will have to rebuild relationships.

“It will be a challenge mentally, and to find other work to support their families as they have been out of circulation for so long. Hopefully they will get the care they need when they get home.”

'Worse than a prison sentence'

Marie Byrne, a counsellor who volunteers at the UAE government's mental health crisis helpline, said the ordeal the crew had been through would take time to overcome.

“It was worse than a prison sentence, where at least someone can deal with a set amount of time incarcerated," she said.

“They were living in perpetual mystery as to how their futures would pan out, and what that would be.

“Because of coronavirus, the world is very different now to the one they left, that will also have an impact.

“It will not fully register until they are on dry land. Some have not seen their young children grow up while others will have to rebuild relationships.

“It will be a challenge mentally, and to find other work to support their families as they have been out of circulation for so long. Hopefully they will get the care they need when they get home.”

'Worse than a prison sentence'

Marie Byrne, a counsellor who volunteers at the UAE government's mental health crisis helpline, said the ordeal the crew had been through would take time to overcome.

“It was worse than a prison sentence, where at least someone can deal with a set amount of time incarcerated," she said.

“They were living in perpetual mystery as to how their futures would pan out, and what that would be.

“Because of coronavirus, the world is very different now to the one they left, that will also have an impact.

“It will not fully register until they are on dry land. Some have not seen their young children grow up while others will have to rebuild relationships.

“It will be a challenge mentally, and to find other work to support their families as they have been out of circulation for so long. Hopefully they will get the care they need when they get home.”

'Worse than a prison sentence'

Marie Byrne, a counsellor who volunteers at the UAE government's mental health crisis helpline, said the ordeal the crew had been through would take time to overcome.

“It was worse than a prison sentence, where at least someone can deal with a set amount of time incarcerated," she said.

“They were living in perpetual mystery as to how their futures would pan out, and what that would be.

“Because of coronavirus, the world is very different now to the one they left, that will also have an impact.

“It will not fully register until they are on dry land. Some have not seen their young children grow up while others will have to rebuild relationships.

“It will be a challenge mentally, and to find other work to support their families as they have been out of circulation for so long. Hopefully they will get the care they need when they get home.”

'Worse than a prison sentence'

Marie Byrne, a counsellor who volunteers at the UAE government's mental health crisis helpline, said the ordeal the crew had been through would take time to overcome.

“It was worse than a prison sentence, where at least someone can deal with a set amount of time incarcerated," she said.

“They were living in perpetual mystery as to how their futures would pan out, and what that would be.

“Because of coronavirus, the world is very different now to the one they left, that will also have an impact.

“It will not fully register until they are on dry land. Some have not seen their young children grow up while others will have to rebuild relationships.

“It will be a challenge mentally, and to find other work to support their families as they have been out of circulation for so long. Hopefully they will get the care they need when they get home.”

'Worse than a prison sentence'

Marie Byrne, a counsellor who volunteers at the UAE government's mental health crisis helpline, said the ordeal the crew had been through would take time to overcome.

“It was worse than a prison sentence, where at least someone can deal with a set amount of time incarcerated," she said.

“They were living in perpetual mystery as to how their futures would pan out, and what that would be.

“Because of coronavirus, the world is very different now to the one they left, that will also have an impact.

“It will not fully register until they are on dry land. Some have not seen their young children grow up while others will have to rebuild relationships.

“It will be a challenge mentally, and to find other work to support their families as they have been out of circulation for so long. Hopefully they will get the care they need when they get home.”

THE BIO

Age: 30

Favourite book: The Power of Habit

Favourite quote: "The world is full of good people, if you cannot find one, be one"

Favourite exercise: The snatch

Favourite colour: Blue

THE BIO

Age: 30

Favourite book: The Power of Habit

Favourite quote: "The world is full of good people, if you cannot find one, be one"

Favourite exercise: The snatch

Favourite colour: Blue

THE BIO

Age: 30

Favourite book: The Power of Habit

Favourite quote: "The world is full of good people, if you cannot find one, be one"

Favourite exercise: The snatch

Favourite colour: Blue

THE BIO

Age: 30

Favourite book: The Power of Habit

Favourite quote: "The world is full of good people, if you cannot find one, be one"

Favourite exercise: The snatch

Favourite colour: Blue

THE BIO

Age: 30

Favourite book: The Power of Habit

Favourite quote: "The world is full of good people, if you cannot find one, be one"

Favourite exercise: The snatch

Favourite colour: Blue

THE BIO

Age: 30

Favourite book: The Power of Habit

Favourite quote: "The world is full of good people, if you cannot find one, be one"

Favourite exercise: The snatch

Favourite colour: Blue

THE BIO

Age: 30

Favourite book: The Power of Habit

Favourite quote: "The world is full of good people, if you cannot find one, be one"

Favourite exercise: The snatch

Favourite colour: Blue

THE BIO

Age: 30

Favourite book: The Power of Habit

Favourite quote: "The world is full of good people, if you cannot find one, be one"

Favourite exercise: The snatch

Favourite colour: Blue

THE BIO

Age: 30

Favourite book: The Power of Habit

Favourite quote: "The world is full of good people, if you cannot find one, be one"

Favourite exercise: The snatch

Favourite colour: Blue

THE BIO

Age: 30

Favourite book: The Power of Habit

Favourite quote: "The world is full of good people, if you cannot find one, be one"

Favourite exercise: The snatch

Favourite colour: Blue

THE BIO

Age: 30

Favourite book: The Power of Habit

Favourite quote: "The world is full of good people, if you cannot find one, be one"

Favourite exercise: The snatch

Favourite colour: Blue

THE BIO

Age: 30

Favourite book: The Power of Habit

Favourite quote: "The world is full of good people, if you cannot find one, be one"

Favourite exercise: The snatch

Favourite colour: Blue

THE BIO

Age: 30

Favourite book: The Power of Habit

Favourite quote: "The world is full of good people, if you cannot find one, be one"

Favourite exercise: The snatch

Favourite colour: Blue

THE BIO

Age: 30

Favourite book: The Power of Habit

Favourite quote: "The world is full of good people, if you cannot find one, be one"

Favourite exercise: The snatch

Favourite colour: Blue

THE BIO

Age: 30

Favourite book: The Power of Habit

Favourite quote: "The world is full of good people, if you cannot find one, be one"

Favourite exercise: The snatch

Favourite colour: Blue

THE BIO

Age: 30

Favourite book: The Power of Habit

Favourite quote: "The world is full of good people, if you cannot find one, be one"

Favourite exercise: The snatch

Favourite colour: Blue

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Calls

Directed by: Fede Alvarez

Starring: Pedro Pascal, Karen Gillian, Aaron Taylor-Johnson

4/5

Calls

Directed by: Fede Alvarez

Starring: Pedro Pascal, Karen Gillian, Aaron Taylor-Johnson

4/5

Calls

Directed by: Fede Alvarez

Starring: Pedro Pascal, Karen Gillian, Aaron Taylor-Johnson

4/5

Calls

Directed by: Fede Alvarez

Starring: Pedro Pascal, Karen Gillian, Aaron Taylor-Johnson

4/5

Calls

Directed by: Fede Alvarez

Starring: Pedro Pascal, Karen Gillian, Aaron Taylor-Johnson

4/5

Calls

Directed by: Fede Alvarez

Starring: Pedro Pascal, Karen Gillian, Aaron Taylor-Johnson

4/5

Calls

Directed by: Fede Alvarez

Starring: Pedro Pascal, Karen Gillian, Aaron Taylor-Johnson

4/5

Calls

Directed by: Fede Alvarez

Starring: Pedro Pascal, Karen Gillian, Aaron Taylor-Johnson

4/5

Calls

Directed by: Fede Alvarez

Starring: Pedro Pascal, Karen Gillian, Aaron Taylor-Johnson

4/5

Calls

Directed by: Fede Alvarez

Starring: Pedro Pascal, Karen Gillian, Aaron Taylor-Johnson

4/5

Calls

Directed by: Fede Alvarez

Starring: Pedro Pascal, Karen Gillian, Aaron Taylor-Johnson

4/5

Calls

Directed by: Fede Alvarez

Starring: Pedro Pascal, Karen Gillian, Aaron Taylor-Johnson

4/5

Calls

Directed by: Fede Alvarez

Starring: Pedro Pascal, Karen Gillian, Aaron Taylor-Johnson

4/5

Calls

Directed by: Fede Alvarez

Starring: Pedro Pascal, Karen Gillian, Aaron Taylor-Johnson

4/5

Calls

Directed by: Fede Alvarez

Starring: Pedro Pascal, Karen Gillian, Aaron Taylor-Johnson

4/5

Calls

Directed by: Fede Alvarez

Starring: Pedro Pascal, Karen Gillian, Aaron Taylor-Johnson

4/5