07:56 GMT26 February 2020
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    The bushfires, which have been ravaging across Australia since September 2019 and have recently intensified, have reportedly claimed around 30 lives, destroyed more than 2,000 homes and killed over one billion animals.

    Chief Minister of the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Andrew Barr declared Friday the state of emergency, stressing that Canberra was facing the “worst bushfire threat since the devastating fires of 2003”, according to the News.Com.Au media outlet.

    “The combination of extreme heat, wind, and a dry landscape will place suburbs in Canberra’s south at risk [...] This fire may become very unpredictable. It may become uncontrollable. So given the best advice available to me, I have just made a decision to declare a Territory-wide state of alert for the Australian Capital Territory. This is effective now and will be in place for as long as Canberra is at risk”, Andrew Barr said, cited by News.Com.Au.

    The UK Meteorological Office warned earlier this month that the Australian bushfires would likely contribute to one of largest increases in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, predicting that the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide will peak at 417 parts per million in May, and the average for the year will be around 414.2 parts per million.

    Earlier, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison was criticized for his tackling effort both the bushfires and their aftermath.

    Rae Kwon Chung, a UN climate expert and 2007 Nobel Peace Prize laureate suggested that the bushfires, unprecedented in scale and intensity, could herald a global "climate disaster".


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