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Australia’s Black Summer bushfires herald a new ice age, say fire historians | Instant News


Players train at the Auckland ASB Tennis Center in January under an orange sky, due to smoke emanating from Australian bushfires. Photo / Jason Oxenham

The unusual nature of Australia’s Black Summer bushfires may have marked the beginning of a fire-fueled “ice age” and the world appears to have “crossed the threshold” into a more dangerous future, said a global fire historian.

Professor Emeritus Stephen Pyne at Arizona State University is a former firefighter in the US who has previously studied Australian fires for his 1991 book, Burning Bush: A Fire History of Australia.

Pyne said the 2019/2020 fires, which tore through 24 to 40 million hectares of scrub in several states and territories, marked the start of a global fire year.

“I think there will be a legacy because the fires are not limited to Australia, they continue to hit the western United States, they are in Europe and Siberia.”

Pyne said the scale of the Black Summer fires set it apart from fires in previous years.

“While there are no individual fires in Australia or elsewhere that are unprecedented, I think the scale is different because they come as a herd.”

Pyne previously thought the Black Saturday fires, which claimed the lives of 173 people in Victoria in 2009, had set a limit for what a single fire can do, but last year’s fire season swelled to months of continuous burning.

“What makes fires different in general is the large-scale swarm effect. It’s not two or three days apart outbreaks, they continued.

“I think of it as the ‘rolling thunder effect.’ When they come in a sequence like that, it just keeps expanding.”

A fire lights up in view of a Canberra suburb on January 31, 2020 in Canberra, Australia.  Photo / Getty Images
A fire lights up in view of a Canberra suburb on January 31, 2020 in Canberra, Australia. Photo / Getty Images

Pyne said California is also a spectacular example of this, with the state experiencing the fourth consecutive year of historic fires.

He said that not all fires have the same cause, the fires in the Amazon are also related to land clearing and those that occur in Indonesia are related to draining tropical peatlands.

“But everywhere, fire seems to be a manifestation of the broken relationship between humans and nature,” he said.

“I think we have the potential to cross the threshold this year.”

NEW ‘AGE OF FIRE’

Pyne believes the way humans manage natural landscapes, combined with the treatment of fossil fuels, may have given birth to a new “ice age”.

“We take stuff from our geological past and burn it without understanding the effect, and this is released into our future.”

He said that the increasing severity of fire was a manifestation of this activity, which also changed sea levels and caused widespread extinctions of plants and animals.

“We are reshaping the planet directly and indirectly.”

In the same way that ice is seen as a physical manifestation of changes in Earth’s temperature during the Pleistocene era, fire can be a manifestation of a new era that Pyne calls the Pyrocene era.

“For the fires in Australia, it turns out to be what led to an extraordinary global fire year, and it can also be taken as an indisputable marker for what I think of as our new fire age.”

The fire line leaves a trail of destruction through the forests of Queensland.  Photo / NZ Herald
The fire line leaves a trail of destruction through the forests of Queensland. Photo / NZ Herald

Pyne believes that the smoke from fires, which obscure cities like Sydney and Canberra for days, could eventually get people to notice what’s going on around them, just as the dust storms of the 1930s sparked action in the dust bowl in America. .

He said action was being taken about agricultural practices when Washington DC began to feel the effects of massive dust storms spreading far from central US areas.

“This changed the discourse and suddenly it became a national issue. This gives extra urgency to many conservation programs and makes the issue visible to the public and Congress.

“My feeling is the smoke will do it for this last year’s fire.

“It makes visibility of impact clear to a larger audience and it can lead to change.”

Smoke from the Australian fires reached New Zealand and was reported to other areas around the world, while the smoke from the US fires was spreading to places people said were immune to fire, making it an unprecedented public health problem.

“I think people have a very high tolerance for fire images – they’re dramatic but limited to certain places, but smoke can spread widely,” said Pyne.

This way, the Black Summer fires can have a longer impact.

“I was tempted to think that it was a historical fire, but it might also be a fire depending on our response.”

Smoke and flames from wildfires run out of control over a 1500km edge across East Gippsland, in January.  Photo / Dale Appleton
Smoke and flames from wildfires run out of control over a 1500km edge across East Gippsland, in January. Photo / Dale Appleton

Pyne said that fire is in our future no matter what we do.

“We have to control the fossil fuel burning party but even after this stabilizes or reverses, there will still be a lot of fires and we have to do a lot more than we did before.

“They are not leaving… we have a huge debt and we also have to put a lot of fire back into the environment.

“Even if we stop burning fossil fuels and step up our action on climate change, there will be a lot of fires in our future.

“It can be wild or devastating, or it can be controlled and actually produce good benefits.

“But it won’t go away.”

With the US still facing the repercussions of the presidential election, which Donald Trump still rejects, Pyne said Australia was in a better position to take action.

“You are really at the forefront, you are equipped with world-class fire science and forest fire fighting skills,” he said.

“I hope Australia can make the move and start responding in an engaged and informed way, in a way that the US and even Canada cannot.

“This is something that Australia can really lead, can engage with landscapes and fires, and cultural discussions are an interesting part of that too.”

Pyne said it’s not just about doing one big thing to solve climate change and fix the problem, there are lots of little things that can be done too, and these actions may differ in many areas.

“We need to decide what the problem is in each particular place and what kind of treatment suite makes sense there.”

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World Heart Day marks our correspondents | Instant News


LAHORE: Online public awareness sessions and walks are held across the country in collaboration with leading healthcare institutions such as the Pakistan Cardiac Society (PCS), the Karachi Heart Disease Institute (KIHD) and the National Institute of Cardiovascular Disease (NICVD) on the occasion of World Heart Day .

The event was held to promote heart health. A pharmaceutical company runs a trip in Lahore in collaboration with the Karachi Institute of Heart Disease (KIHD) and the Pakistan Cardiac Society Karachi Chapter. It was led by Prof. Abdul Rasheed, Prof. Khalida Soomro, Prof. Mansoor Ahmed, and Associate Prof. Riffat Sultana. Experts talk about how to live a healthy life by taking special care of the heart.

Dr Sumera Nasim from KIHD emphasized, “We have to reduce our salt intake to less than one teaspoon per day.” Dr Sanam Khawaja from the NICVD states that a 30-45 minute walk helps control blood pressure, reducing the risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Most cardiovascular disease can be prevented by addressing behavioral risk factors such as tobacco use, unhealthy diet, obesity, and lack of physical activity.

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World Heart Day is marked | Instant News


LAHORE: Public awareness sessions and online walks are held across the country in collaboration with leading healthcare institutions such as the Pakistan Cardiac Society (PCS), Karachi Heart Disease Institute (KIHD) and NICVD on the occasion of World Heart Day.

The event was held to promote heart health. A pharmaceutical company runs a trip in Lahore in collaboration with the Karachi Institute of Heart Disease (KIHD) and the Pakistan Cardiac Society Karachi Chapter. It was led by Prof. Abdul Rasheed, Prof. Khalida Soomro, Prof. Mansoor Ahmed, and Associate Prof. Riffat Sultana. Experts talk about how to live a healthy life by taking special care of the heart. Dr Sumera Nasim from KIHD emphasized, “We have to reduce our salt intake to less than one teaspoon per day.” Dr Sanam Khawaja from the NICVD states that a 30-45 minute walk helps control blood pressure, reducing the risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Most cardiovascular disease can be prevented by addressing behavioral risk factors such as tobacco use, unhealthy diet, obesity, and lack of physical activity.

Case against former LDA director general adjourned: The accountability court on Saturday adjourned hearing of out-of-control assets case against former LDA director general on Sunday Khan Cheema on 7 October. According to the NAB, the court tracked 22 properties, of which 20 were registered under the name Ahad Cheema, and two were registered in the names of family members.

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World Tourism Day is commemorated today | Instant News


ISLAMABAD: President Dr Arif Alvi and Prime Minister Imran Khan said that the promotion of tourism activities in rural areas could help increase the volume of the national economy and put the country on the path to prosperity and development as Pakistan has unlimited tourism potential.

“This sector is not only a major source of employment, especially for different segments of rural society especially for young people and women but also provides opportunities for regional integration and socio-economic inclusion for the most remote areas,” the president said in his message on “World Tourism Day. “commemorated today (27 September).

He said it was great that Pakistan joined hands with the rest of the world to celebrate the Day.

This day is celebrated annually under the auspices of the World Tourism Organization of the United Nations (UNWTO), to raise awareness in the international community about the impact of tourism on society, culture and economic growth of a country.

This year’s theme is “Tourism and Rural Development”.

The President said for a country like Pakistan where the majority of the population still live in rural areas, tourism can make a significant contribution to socio-economic development.

Pakistani rural communities offer a unique natural and cultural heritage.

“It is my great satisfaction that the federal and provincial governments are taking collective action for tourism site development and tourism promotion and all these efforts will contribute to transforming the tourism industry into a major sector of the national economy in the near future,” he said.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan said that the various initiatives being taken by the Pakistani government for tourism promotion put more emphasis on rural development.

“Several new destinations have been explored for tourists in the country’s rural areas which hopefully can elevate the economic and social status of local residents,” he said in a “World Tourism Day” commemorative message.

He said today, they celebrate the Day as a country that hosts some of the most bizarre sights and cultures of interest in the world.

The prime minister said the tourism sector provided a boost to economic development in rural areas, which badly need economic activity.

Tourism not only helps empower rural communities by creating jobs and increasing trade, but also enables them to protect their heritage and allows others to experience their extraordinary culture and traditions, he added.

He further said placing rural development at the heart of tourism policy through education, investment, innovation, technology and employment has changed the livelihoods of millions of people and helped preserve culture and the environment.

The prime minister said he wanted to inform the international community that Pakistanis are waiting anxiously for tourists from all over the world to convey their hospitality to visit their mountains, deserts, rivers, forests and beaches.

“Pakistan has a diverse landscape from mountains to sea along with a dynamic history. Pakistan has unlimited tourism potential that the world has yet to discover, “he said.

Pakistan Tourism Development Company (PTDC) has been transformed to transform it so that its employees are exposed to cutting-edge technology to make Pakistan a well-known tourist destination.

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What you need to know about hiking in Switzerland – SWI swissinfo.ch | Instant News


(MENAFN – Swissinfo) Switzerland is very suitable for pedestrians. With 65,000 km of marked hiking trails, there are routes for every ability level. This is a network map:

Susan Misicka

Not satisfied with her own business, Susan studied journalism in Boston so that she had the perfect reason to place herself in the shoes and world of others. When not writing, he presents and produces podcasts and videos.

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Before you pack your backpack, put on your hiking shoes, and hit the road, see the following tips we made for you.

Where can I find inspiration?

Swiss Mobility offers a comprehensive increment index based on location, theme, and level of fitness needed. Swiss Tourism narrowed it down to ’32 most enjoyable climbs”. Other outstanding resources are the Swiss Hiking Path Federation and the Swiss Alpine Club (SAC). The user-created site Hikr.org is constantly updated with the latest tips in several languages. The Federal Topographic Office sells a detailed collection of printed maps.

How do I know if it’s the easy or difficult route?

Signposting is consistent throughout Switzerland (and Liechtenstein) thanks to the efforts of hiking enthusiasts in the 1930s.

Paths that require little effort are indicated by yellow signs or arrows, often displaying figures with backpacks and sticks. Signs that indicate height, intersection and distance are also yellow, and can mark various types of tracks. This provides an estimated time needed to reach the closest point, including the train station and bus stop.

64% of the lines are yellow, or easy. © Keystone / Christian Beutler

Red and white signs, often painted on rocks, mark the road where pedestrians can expect steep and narrow passages. “Users must be sure and free of vertigo, and in good physical condition, and be aware of the dangers of mountains,” noted the hiking federation.

Mountain hiking trails account for 35% of the network. Keystone / Alessandro Della Bella

Mountain trails are indicated by blue and white signs. It often crosses snow fields and glaciers, and may require climbing with rope, pickaxes, and crampons. When glaciers melt, this path becomes more challenging.

Only 1% of the alpine-style track. Keystone / Arno Balzarini

In winter, snow converts many basic yellow trails into seasonal winter hiking trails. This is indicated by Pink signs. No special equipment is needed except decent winter boots with a tread to handle the ice bits.

Sometimes this path crosses ski trails and sledges. Schweizer Wanderwege

Where can I check the weather?

Always check the weather before leaving, because rainfall can be translated into slippery rocks. The national weather service, MeteoSwiss, provides detailed forecasts including hazard warnings, such as strong winds or avalanches. If possible, find out if your destination is shrouded in mist by looking at webcam feeds from the nearest cable car or hut.

Who maintains all these hiking trails?

In a unique law throughout the world, Article 88 of the Swiss constitution requires that Swiss footpaths and hiking trails are maintained in good and safe conditions. Maintenance work is assigned at the cantonal and municipal level. Around 1,500 volunteers and helpers carry out tasks such as cutting branches, correcting steps and adjusting signs.

A city worker paints a marker in Val Lumnezia Keystone / Gian Ehrenzeller

How much does hiking cost, and who pays?

Apart from shortcuts such as cable cars and occasional hiking cottage breaks, this national sport is free for all pedestrians. The money to maintain the network comes from cantons and donations. Total annual investment is around CHF53 million ($ 53.4 million). According to the climbing federation, this includes operational maintenance, repair and signing of the network and other costs. Also, SAC invests several hundred thousand francs per year to maintain and increase access to its hut.

How safe is hiking in Switzerland?

It is important to make sure you are on the right track. But no matter how experienced or careful you are, there is always an element of risk. Every year, around 20,000 pedestrians crash in Switzerland; several dozen died. Last summer, four people fell to their deaths and a landslide killed one pedestrian and several others were stranded in the Bernese Alps.

“Dangerous and often difficult to pass channels and canyons appear in layers between recoiled glaciers and moraine or rock,” Hans-Rudolf Keusen, a geologist who serves as co-president of SAC huts and infrastructure huts, recently told SAC infrastructure. Swiss public television, SRF.

Local authorities generally block the path as soon as they find out the problem. Pedestrians can always check with a hiking federation or SAC for advice.

It is also important to keep the herd with the calf, because the mother is very protective. However, in the agricultural zone you can find an electric fence even if no cattle are visible.

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