The raging bushfires in Australia have made the skies red even in Auckland, New Zealand, and traces of dust are found far away in Latin America too. Australians have been living in fear for close to two months already and many small towns across the country have relocated to safer places for the time being.
It's a scary time to live in Australia
A resident of Australia's capital Canberra and a climate scientist at the Australian National University, Nerilie Abram, told Reuters that most people suffering from asthma have already left town and quite a lot of people wear disposable masks as they venture out.
The only thing on people's mind is how much worse can the situation get. "How bad is this going to get? How bad are we willing to let it get?" he said.
Abram said his team knew a day like this was not far away but all of them are surprised by the magnitude of the bushfires and expects many more cases like these if climate change is not tackled. "Scientifically, it's not surprising. We totally expected that as the climate warmed, fires in Australia would get worse. But the scale of this disaster is something I couldn't have imagined, and it's the same for a lot of people in Australia."
Wakeup call for the rest of the world
Abram urged the rest of the world to wake up to climate change before it is too late and asked everyone to learn from Australia's disaster. "That could be one of the only positive things that comes out of this experience - if it's that wake-up call to see what climate change looks like."
Abram doubted whether climate change and bushfires will pressure world leaders to take significant action to combat the crisis, as many politicians have still not fully wrapped their minds around climate change and believe it's mostly a hoax.