On average, one person is displaced each second by a disaster-related hazard. International law does not regard people displaced by disasters as refugees, however, an intergovernmental initiative called the Platform on Disaster Displacement aims to address the protection of people displaced by the impacts of disasters and climate change.
According to research by the Union of Concerned Scientists, the way that humans have altered land use in the Sierra Nevada has had a greater effect on fire behaviour than climate change. This conclusion has profound implications for the future, when higher temperatures will intensify fire activity in California. The study about humans and fire suggests that land managers and owners can help make forests more resilient.
Classifying exactly what a heatwave is or is not has long been a topic of discussion among scientists, and it has proven difficult for researchers to reach a consensus. However, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology has come up with a scheme that classifies a heatwave as a low, severe or extreme event, similar to the way cyclones are measured.