A new Black Summer-response research programme

While Australia continues to recover from one of the most devastating bushfire seasons in recorded history, we are reminded of the important role of research in learning from previous disasters and applying these lessons in ways that help us become…

Charges filed stemming from the White Island volcanic eruption

The 9 December 2019 White Island eruption was a steam-driven eruption, caused by the sudden expansion of magma-heated water into steam, which can occur at supersonic speed as the water expands into 1,700 times its original volume. Unlike magmatic eruptions,…

The new Australian Disaster Resilience Index

Australians are always learning to live with a changing, unpredictable and uncertain environment, of which natural hazards are an increasing part. We are all developing ways to cope with, adapt to and recover from changes in our lives. But how…

Predicting fire thunderstorms

Fire thunderstorms are thunderstorms that develop in bushfire plumes. Their formation has much in common with conventional thunderstorms: both require warm humid air to be lifted into an unstable layer above. A sufficiently large fire can provide this lift and…

Conflicting cues with emergency warnings impacts protective action

New research confirms the long held suspicion that emergency warnings do not always have cut through when other sources conflict with official advice. Australia’s emergency services agencies face immense challenges when responding to natural hazards. Evacuating people in affected regions…

Prepare for extended severe weather seasons

Australia needs to prepare itself for the threat of year-round natural hazards that in the past were associated only with the summer months. This is the view of the Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, whose CEO Dr Richard Thornton has…

Assessing and disclosing climate change risks

In light of underwhelming progress at COP-24 (the annual United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference Of the Parties (COP) in Katowice 2018), it is increasingly improbable the Paris Agreement’s ambitions will be achieved. Instead, it seems more…

Asia and Africa most vulnerable to disasters and their effects

The Natural Hazards Vulnerability Index from risk analysts Verisk Maplecroft has Identified that countries and mega-cities across Asia are highly exposed to natural hazards ranging from cyclones to earthquakes, but people in sub-Saharan Africa are more vulnerable. Nearly 1.4 billion…

To Burn or Not to Burn?

Australia has a long and continuing history of burning in its forests to reduce fuels and maintain biodiversity. However, the debate over prescribed burning targets has been an ongoing one for almost as long as the practice has been conducted.…

Latest Issue

Follow me on Twitter