Climate specialist Jeff Berardelli said that Australia is in the midst of a three-year drought and the temperature has reached a record high of three degrees above the normal average this year.
Bushfires have been ravaging across Australia for over four months now and are taking a toll on the wildlife. Recent news reports state that an estimated half a billion animals have been killed in the wildfire. Bushfires are an annual occurrence during the dry seasons in Australia but this time it has escalated as a result of climate change. Climate specialist Jeff Berardelli told "CBS This Morning" that Australia is in the midst of a three-year drought and the temperature has reached a record high of three degrees above the normal average this year.
"As a meteorologist, that is remarkable, almost seems like it's not possible, but it happened," Berardelli said. Since the fires have started and spread it has spread across the continent destroying over 12 million acres and have lead to a mass evacuation of over 100,000 residents and tourists. The fires have also destroyed over 30 percent of wildlife habitats leaving millions of animals homeless and killing even more. Videos of animals trying to escape from the fire have been surfacing online as the whole world watches the horrifying events unfold.
Thousands of volunteers have gathered their resources to fight the fires as well as help tend to the injured animals. Helping the injured animals is the Australia Zoo, founded by the Irwin family. Bindi Irwin, daughter of the crocodile hunter, Steve Irwin, took to Instagram to let everyone know that the zoo was safe as there were no fires in the vicinity. "With so many devastating fires within Australia, my heart breaks for the people and wildlife who have lost so much," she said.
Drought, heatwaves, and prolonged dry periods mean fires are hotter, more frequent, and can have more devastating consequences.— WWF-UK (@wwf_uk) January 3, 2020
#ClimateChange didn’t cause the #AustraliaBushfires – but it is making them worse.https://t.co/5xag5oRna0
The zoo has officially treated over 90,000 animal patients, Bindi said in her post. Saying the zoo has been busier than ever she added, "My parents dedicated our Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital to my beautiful grandmother. We will continue to honor her by being Wildlife Warriors and saving as many lives as we can." She then shared the devastating news of how Blossom the possum, a bushfire victim could not be saved.
"We have such an incredible team who work day and night to protect gorgeous animals like Blossom. Devastatingly this beautiful girl didn’t make it even after working so hard to save her life," Bindi said in the caption. "This is the heart-wrenching truth, every day is a battle to stand up and speak for those who cannot speak for themselves. Now more than ever we need to work together to make a difference and protect our Mother Earth."