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  • 'Triple whammy': drought, fires and floods push Australian rivers into crisis

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'Triple whammy': drought, fires and floods push Australian rivers into crisis

Source(s):  Guardian, the (UK)

By Graham Readfearn

Australia’s rivers are being hit by a “triple whammy” of impacts that will have serious and long-term effects on species and could push some to extinction, according to experts.


Asked if climate change was playing a role, [Prof Ross Thompson] said: “The combination of drought, increased intensity of fires and extreme rainfall events, particularly in summer, is entirely consistent with what we have been modelling and predicting.”


Prof Max Finlayson, of the Institute for Land, Water and Society at Charles Sturt University, told Guardian Australia that while the individual impacts on rivers such as floods, droughts and bushfires were “not new phenomena”, it was the combination of impacts – together with the scale of the fires – that was “the big difference”.


“We have hammered these streams and lakes and they’re already under pressure from land clearing, development, pollution and [changes to] flows. The remnant populations [of species] are now subjected across a large area to a bigger threat. It’s extending the problems in a big and nasty way.


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  • Publication date 12 Feb 2020

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