Today’s Solutions: September 26, 2023

Needless to say, the Australian wildfires have been painful to observe. More than 6.3 million hectares (63,000 sq km or 15.6 million acres) have been burned so far. To get a perspective of just how much that is, know that one hectare is roughly the size of a sports field.

Although the wildfires paint a bleak forecast for our future in the age of climate change, there is still reason to feel a glimmer of hope. That hope comes in the form of new photos from Murray Lowe, who recently published images of small plants and rose-colored shrubs sprouting amongst the ashes–a testament to the incredible resilience of nature.

Is it normal to see plants resprouting again after a fire? Yes, it is. Most forests have developed mechanisms to cope with such fires to regrow as quickly as possible. To do so, the trees usually have two mechanisms.

One involves resprouting – or having tree buds sitting deep below the surface where the intense heat of a fire can’t reach them. Once the fire subsides, the shrubs are able to sprout quickly and start growing again.

The second method is by regeneration with heat resistant seeds. After a fire, growing conditions are usually optimal since the ashes left behind are a good fertilizer filled with nutrients, and there is plenty of sun and space to grow again.

Want to see the encouraging photos for yourself? Look no further.

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