Expert: the only way to put out the Australian wildfire is to rely on the sky

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 Expert: the only way to put out the Australian wildfire is to rely on the sky


Firefighters prepare food and water for animals in a forest after a fire near wenjero village, more than an hours drive from Canberra, Australia, on January 12. Chu Chen / photo (Xinhua News Agency)

The scene after a forest fire was taken near the village of wenjero, more than an hours drive from Canberra, Australia, on January 12. Chu Chen / photo (Xinhua News Agency)

A parrot perches in a burnt forest in New South Wales, Australia, on January 11. Xinhua News Agency / Reuters

A firefighter strengthens a fire barrier near bodala, New South Wales, on January 12. Xinhua News Agency / American Federation

Australia is still burning.

Fire is not big news in Australia. In the previous 200 years, when the southern hemisphere is in spring and summer, there will be a fire season here.

However, this seasons wildfires have spread into a major disaster. As of January 14, the fire had been burning for four months, raging over 120000 square kilometers of land. In NASAs satellite photos, almost a third of the entire Australian continent is covered with thick smoke.

Under heavy smoke, more than 2500 houses collapsed and 27 people were killed, including three firefighters. According to a report released by the University of Sydney, 1 billion animals across Australia have been affected by the fire. Some of the smoke from the fire drifted to neighboring New Zealand, and some reached the sky over South America 11000 kilometers away. Australias famous Victoria Alps snow capped some yellow.

In September 2019, the first forest fire happened. Few people saw the light of the fire. Some local people on the social network lamented that the mountain fire season came a little early this year. They dont know that the precise earth system has been in operation for a long time, and the meteorological events affecting Australian wildfires are also related to the drought in Chinas Yangtze River Basin in 2019 and the floods in southern Africa.

In less than two months, Sydney was in a haze of increasingly yellow color. The particles covered the sky came from burning mountains. In New South Wales, Queensland and more, people and fire had a thrilling fight that only those who experienced it could experience. This battle represents a battle that has been waged for thousands of years, and may now be looking forward to a break.

The fire is too big for human control

At present, there are more than 2700 firefighters working day and night in Australia. This includes foreign aid from the United States, Canada and New Zealand - all of whom were applauded when they arrived at Australian airports. On January 4, 3000 reserve soldiers were dispatched to put out the fire.

The battle, which has been going on for four months, will continue.

In front of them, several fire dragons still spread along the southeast coast of Australia, and the dark red sky on the top of Eucalyptus was still bright at night, with loud noises from time to time. The huge energy of the flame is released into the atmosphere, creating a new microclimate system: thunderstorms, strong winds and high-speed rotation of the pyrocumulus cloud which is directly into the sky. On January 11, three wildfires rushed down the snow mountain. Driven by a strong wind with a speed of 90 km / h, they merged into a super fire, covering an area of more than 6215 square kilometers, larger than the main urban area of Chongqing.

A firefighter, father of two, was killed when he was knocked down by a burning tree. Another firefighter died in a 40 ton fire truck that was overturned by a cumulus cloud. The funeral of firefighter odwell took place on January 5. His 1-year-old 7-month-old daughter still doesnt know what death is. She plays beside the coffin. The little girl was wearing her fathers white fire hat and buttoned most of her face.

Odwell is a volunteer firefighter. For years, volunteer firefighters have been an important part of Australias fire power. They have men and women. They have other jobs to earn money. In the past 10 years, the total number of volunteer firefighters in Australia has decreased by 18000. According to the research report, this is related to Australias economic downturn.

Volunteer firefighters are poorly paid. It wasnt until December 28, 2019 that Australian Prime Minister Morrison let go and agreed to make economic compensation for them, provided they were involved in the fire fighting for more than 10 days.

Now, its these people who are going to face that unpredictable opponent. Forest fire fighting is totally different from urban fire fighting. For example, in a city, a building is on fire, and it is difficult to burn it elsewhere. In a forest, a fire can burn several mountains in succession. Chen weiqi, the third level commander of the Forest Fire Department of the Ministry of emergency management of China, told China Youth Daily.

Im afraid only forest firefighters can understand forest firefighters best - 200 meters away from the fire source, the heat wave comes first. The heat wave is noisy. It sounds like a train at night. The extinguished fire may be rekindled, because the burned trees are also fuel. A sudden change in wind direction could cause a fire to strike unexpectedly, killing some firefighters. Chen recalled that sometimes when they were walking in the forest, there would be a few small fireballs flying towards people - the oil rich, burning pinecones. Some people say its like ghost fire coming.

They need to use the power of nature against nature. Attack the fire with fire, ignite the fire circle and trap the mountain fire in it. Hold the place where the fire dragon burns fiercely to attack, hit the snake and hit seven inches.

Chen Weiqi said that forest firefighters usually start a fire in the early morning, when the temperature is low and the fire is gentle. They need to explore the mountaintop and the wind direction, and predict the future direction. They cant be in a hurry, otherwise, how many people will go up, how many people will go bad. Sometimes, they have to follow the beekeepers path, riding on the ridge up the mountain, a bend, the walkie talkie will fall into the valley. Where they are going, the fire engines equipped with crawlers cannot go deep. Choose such a route out of experience, can cross the most violent fire on the mountain, can also observe the fire in the distant forest farm.

According to him, even those commanders who have participated in dozens of forest fires are not sure about the next one. Because, no fire is the same..

Sun long, Dean of Forestry College of Northeast Forestry University, focuses on the study of forest fire ecology, observing how meteorological conditions, combustible conditions and terrain conditions affect fire behavior. These factors influence each other and change dynamically.

He tried to build a national database of combustibles. Larch, camphor pine, red birch, poplar Different tree species, different oil content and drying degree, different seed coat and shape, different reaction when burning. Eucalyptus is the dominant tree in Australia. It is rich in volatile oil and waxy substances, and it is easier to burn than other plants.

When forest fire develops to a certain extent, abnormal fire behavior will occur, such as flying fire. Burning in the center of the fire consumes the oxygen in the air, which will produce whirlwind and turbulence. Turbulence pushes out the burning particles, which can fly tens of kilometers away.

In our country, the prevention of mountain fire is the most important. Chen said comrades in arms from all over the country set out before the annual mountain fire season. They will come to the area where there is a potential risk of fire, so that they can respond in a timely manner. Fight early, fight small, fight.

If the fire is too big, it has no meaning. Its not controlled by human power. Human beings are really small. Sun long worries that the Australian mountain fire has reached its present stage, and that the only way to completely extinguish it may be by the sky.

Learn to live with wildfire

The complexity of forest fires is energy. Sun Long said.

Combustion is a process of energy consumption and release. This process involves complex chemical changes and energy dynamics, which affect the unpredictable fire behavior. In the burning forest, the canopy, branches and dead leaves release different heat. The heat radiated outward, and the trees were dried before they were affected by the fire. The release of energy into the atmosphere will form pyrocumulus clouds, gales and all sorts of appalling small weather systems.

And the source of energy is the forest. An Australian scholar has calculated that the energy released by a forest fire is far greater than the energy released by a megaton atomic bomb.

Sun long sometimes reminds others that fire is also an ecological factor and a part of the ecosystem. For example, in the north of Daxingan Mountains, deep into the virgin forest there, you will feel soft under your feet. The amount of litter here is very large every year, but the decomposition rate is very low in cold weather, and it all accumulates on the surface. Fire is like a cleaner. It quickly decomposes the accumulated organic matter and lets it enter the soil to become nutrients and nourish the new forest.

After the fire, the seedlings began to sprout again, a new cycle.. Nature sometimes bursts with amazing resilience. After the Yellowstone fire in the United States, the performance of natural succession of new forest is better than that of afforestation.

Perhaps guided by this idea, in the fire prevention strategies of the United States, Canada and other countries, the task of protecting lives is higher than that of putting out fires. Sun Long said.

In the paper, a Canadian scientist proposed that when encountering earthquakes, floods or tornadoes, people put more emphasis on adaptation and evacuation if necessary. But when it comes to fire, our main goal is to fight it. The title of that paper is learn to live with wildfires.

In Australia, an important step in forest fire prevention is to plan a fire. In the annual mountain fire season, the old trees and shrubs in some areas shall be burned in advance to reduce combustibles and increase the controllability of future forest fires. Annie (not her real name), a Chinese living in Australia, has long been used to this process. When the fire is planned, there will be a smell of burning wheat straw in the outskirts of Sydney.

Annie told reporters that since the level of the mountain fire increased in November last year, she has always paid attention to the online real-time forecast of the government fire warning. The forecast will tell her if the fire in her area is under control. When the level of the disaster increases, she will be advised to evacuate. She lives near a nature reserve. One day in November, a tree a few kilometers away from home was hit by Mars, and the disaster level immediately increased. A neighbor began to pack up and leave, and she held her daughter, opened her eyes all night, listening to the clock.

Sun long didnt agree with the strategy of some countries to let forest fire develop naturally. In this way, their forest fires will burn more and more in recent years, until they cant be controlled.

In addition, data from the United States, Canada, and China show that lightning, volcanic eruptions, and dry weather are causing fewer and fewer wildfires. Human activities are the main causes of forest fires, including picnic fires, electric wires, sparks and burning paper in graves.

Domesticated fire is returning to the wild

Before Christmas, officials on TV told Annie and other Australian residents to do it on their own. Dont wait for the governments notice to escape. Things are out of our control.

Annie also felt that this years mountain fire seemed to be a little different - she saw dozens of koalas burned by the mountain fire on the news, never heard of this situation in the previous mountain fire season.

This continent has been entangled with fire since 45 million years ago. The Australian continent is disconnected from the ancient Gondwana and connected up and down with the Indian plate. Since then, its location determines its four-year fixed rule: the high pressure in the middle maintains high temperature for many years, the northern monsoon brings rainfall, while the summer in the south is usually hot and dry.

The 1.47 million square meters of forest, which once covered 19% of Australias territory, provided fuel. Botanists generally agree that Australian rainforests should be called dry forests. Australia, on the other hand, lacks geographical ups and downs, and has fewer inland rivers to stop the fire.

Darwin first came to Australia by boat in January 1836. He wrote in his notes that: in the whole country, it is difficult for me to find a place where there is no trace of fire, where there are new and old, where there are thick and thin scorched traces. The journey is generally dull, and these traces are the biggest variable of vision.

In Australia, nature and people are transforming each other. The natives discovered fire and turned this natural force into a tool. They started what ecologists call the big stick and fire period, when they used fire to expel marsupials and hunt them.

The fire was tamed at this time. Instead of burning a large area, it is controlled in a mosaic like area. And the forest also responded, with the extinction of some non fire resistant Eucalyptus species, and the number of marsupials and animals that feed on them also decreased until they quit the ecosystem.

Then came the Europeans, the pastures stretched, the houses built. The old slash and burn cultivation was eliminated and the new civilization grew. The fire was forgotten in the forest.

Professor David Bowman, a high temperature geographer and fire scientist at the University of Tasmania in Australia, has found a trend: Australian wildfires are changing from regular to irregular, and their influence is becoming more and more close to catastrophe. The domesticated fire is returning to the wild. He said in his paper.

Human fear of fire promotes severe fire fighting strategies. He thinks it will be successful in the short term, but in the long term, Australias flammable environmental characteristics cannot be completely erased.

The suppression of fire allows people to build more flammable houses in the flammable jungle. Its like an effective flood control strategy that allows people to farm and build their homes on land that has been flooded out, wrote David Bowman

Having lived in Australia for five years, Annie is more and more able to understand the Australians affinity for nature, which is hard to imagine when she was at home. If there are trees in front of the house, the homeowner must be responsible for the health of the tree and pay a fine if the tree dies. In hot weather, small animals sometimes come from the forest to human settlements to beg for a drink of water. Australias love of koala is beyond control..

A real estate agent who has worked in Australia for many years told reporters that most Australians like to be surrounded by green near their homes. Self built wooden huts in the forest also provide comfortable and cheap living options for those in need.

Today, Australians cry in the trauma of nature. In the fire, a couple living deep in the forest lost their home where they had lived for 20 years. The host choked in front of the ruins and said, no, its all gone. But he also immediately told the television reporters he interviewed: living in the forest, you have to bear the cost.

People rushed into the fire and smoke, took the koalas with their babies to the private car, tightly protected a opossum in the palm, and wrapped a kangaroo in their clothes. In medical institutions, people carefully cut off the burnt fur of animals and use drugs and instruments to keep their hearts beating.

Normal summer with doping

The omens of disaster came earlier.

Australias lack of precipitation and continued warmth have lasted for three years, and a record was set last year. After last years dry winter, spring rainfall hit a 120 year low, with new South Wales experiencing the worst drought.

The whole continent is smoking. Agriculture suffered a massive reduction in production. The government has twice upgraded water restrictions, residents wash cars in small buckets and some children spend the summer in pools rebuilt with large iron storage tanks - banning new pools.

Such weather conditions are the result of the superposition of many meteorological factors. Among them, the Indian Ocean dipole (IOD) plays an important role. It is an abnormal mode of sea temperature, which is similar to El Nino.

According to Luo Jingjia, Dean of the Institute of climate and application frontier of Nanjing University of information engineering, IOD is the difference of ocean temperature between the East and the West Indian Ocean. IOD is a pair of brothers, one positive and one negative. When positive IOD occurs, the West Indian Ocean is warmer than the East Indian Ocean, while negative IOD is the opposite.

Since July 2019, the index of a positive IOD event has almost climbed vertically, and finally reached the highest level in 60 years in December. The temperature difference between the East and the West Indian Ocean has reached 1.5 u2103. Its not easy because the Indian Ocean is very warm. Luo Jingjia said.

The imbalance of ocean temperature will cause strong convection, not only in the sea, but also in the atmosphere. The compulsive signals of this change are transmitted globally in the form of energy. The channel of transmission can be called atmospheric bridge, which is the path of energy walking in the atmosphere.

The positive IOD in 2019 is extremely strong. It sends signals to go west to Africa and north to China. From the west of Australia and the east coast of the Indian Ocean, it crosses the whole continent and reaches the east coast of Australia, where new South Wales is the most severely affected.

Under its influence, southern Africa soaks in rain until today. From late July to the end of October, there was a severe drought in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River in China. According to the data of China Meteorological Administration, the temperature in Hubei, Hunan, Jiangxi, Fujian and southern Anhui is 1-2 u2103 higher, and the precipitation is 50-90% lower than that in the same period of the year. The orange trees in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River bear thin fruits, while the riverbed of the tributary is exposed to the sun, exposing the cracked yellow brown river bottom.

Stop talking about whether global warming is real, and think about countermeasures. Said Janet.

Fires affected by global warming continue to put pressure on global warming

Over the years, there has been more and more evidence of global warming. Luo Jingjia said.

Luo Jingjias team predicted the positive IOD event two years in advance. The teams independently developed power model (nuist-cfs1.0) uses artificial intelligence technology to build a model and describe the movement trend of the ocean and atmosphere. This model simulates the interaction factors in the earth system, and one of the important factors is carbon dioxide.

Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas, which can absorb the long wave radiation of the sun reflected by the earths surface and re emit, making the surface temperature rise. The increased temperature increases the probability of extreme weather. The process of influence is detailed and complex. In the case of strong typhoon, the increase of ocean temperature promotes evaporation and increases the water vapor in the atmosphere. As the water vapor rises into the sky, the temperature drops, releasing energy, becoming the source of energy of strong typhoon, increasing its probability of disturbing human beings.

The earths heat and cold have cycles. According to popular theory, this small planet rotates around the sun in an irregular orbit, with a eccentricity of 100000 years, resulting in different solar radiation. Every 41000 years, the earth enters a new ice age, for which mountains and rivers change. The difference between warm period and cold period can be 8-10 u2103.

Industrial civilization destroys this natural cycle. Luo Jingjia said. Humans dug up carbon buried deep in the earth and released it into the air in a short time. The planet has been in a warm period for a long time, some scientists think it will continue, some predicted a few years ago that 2020 will usher in the beginning of a cold period. In any case, before the cold period, the temperature rise caused by human activities and the natural warm cycle are testing the earths endurance.

Carbon has its own cycle. It exchanges among living things, rocks, soils, oceans, and the atmosphere. Through various physical and chemical changes, it shapes the face of the earth and also participates in death and respiration. The carbon in the depths of the earth comes from the ancient forests ten million years ago. They stand dead, break down and store with the help of fire. This was not their time.

Forest is the most important carbon pool in nature. Liu Lingli, a researcher at the Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, explained that forests are like a valve of carbon cycle, controlling the balance of carbon in and out of the earths system. They sometimes absorb carbon dioxide through photosynthesis, and sometimes release carbon dioxide through respiration. Its a living system. Once destroyed, it is difficult for the artificial trees to replicate the whole ecology, which even includes the fungi with different functions in the soil.

At present, forests are regarded as an important global carbon reduction force by the United Nations Environment Programme. Australian scholars have also published papers that the carbon storage of Eucalyptus regnans forest in the cool highlands of Victoria is about 1900 tons per hectare, more than four times that of tropical forest. Victoria is one of the worst hit areas in Australia.

In case of large-scale mountain fire, the plant carbon stored in the forest is released into the atmosphere through combustion, not only carbon monoxide, but also black carbon. According to Liu Liling, black carbon is a kind of plant particle suspended in the atmosphere, which will also appear after straw combustion. It also has a greenhouse effect. The fire, which may be affected by global warming, continues to put pressure on global warming.

This summer in Australia will be over. A disaster report released last week by the Australian meteorological agency said the impact of positive IOD was weakening and that larger rainfall would eventually come, helping to alleviate hot and dry weather.

(function() {(window. Slotbydup = window. Slotbydup| []). Push ({ID: u5811557, container: ssp_, async: true});}) (); the third decade of the 21st century has come in the fire. Some tourists welcome the new year Sun in a tourist town on the southeast coast of Australia. The sun didnt come, it was covered by smoke. Unexpected wildfires came and 2000 people were driven to the coast. On the same day, at the Sydney Opera House, pink, purple and gold fireworks celebrated the new year. Its a 44 year tradition in Australia, and this year 27000 people signed against it. Looking out from Sydney, 150 wildfires are still burning in the hardest hit state of New South Wales and the neighboring state of Queensland. When forests collapse, they will eventually recover and reabsorb the released carbon, a process that could take more than 100 years. An astronaut is looking down at the earth on the international space station. The planet has encountered more and more frequent extreme weather, hurricanes, strong typhoons, thunderstorms. The melting of Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets is accelerating and global sea level is rising, which may endanger London and Shanghai. Ive never seen a fire on this scale, he said on social networks. In his photos, smoke covers this small corner of the blue planet. Source: responsible editor of China Youth Daily: Zhou Xinyi, nb12002

The third decade of the 21st century has come in flames. Some tourists welcome the new year Sun in a tourist town on the southeast coast of Australia. The sun didnt come, it was covered by smoke. Unexpected wildfires came and 2000 people were driven to the coast. On the same day, at the Sydney Opera House, pink, purple and gold fireworks celebrated the new year. Its a 44 year tradition in Australia, and this year 27000 people signed against it.

Looking out from Sydney, 150 wildfires are still burning in the hardest hit state of New South Wales and the neighboring state of Queensland. When forests collapse, they will eventually recover and reabsorb the released carbon, a process that could take more than 100 years.

An astronaut is looking down at the earth on the international space station. The planet has encountered more and more frequent extreme weather, hurricanes, strong typhoons, thunderstorms. The melting of Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets is accelerating and global sea level is rising, which may endanger London and Shanghai. Ive never seen a fire on this scale, he said on social networks. In his photos, smoke covers this small corner of the blue planet.