Editor's note

The heavy thunderstorms battering the greater Sydney area may be contributing to the bushfires raging across Queensland. The Bureau of Meteorology’s Claire Yeo explains how the low pressure front is pushing warm air and winds across Queensland, contributing to exceptionally dangerous fire conditions. As the NSW low front moves it may also cause a “wind change” in Queensland, creating the possibility of firestorms and fire tornadoes that can spread fires rapidly and unpredictably.

And tomorrow, eyes will be on the G20 meeting in Buenos Aires. The meeting to watch is the one between US president Donald Trump and Chinese president Xi Jinping. As Tony Walker writes, with a “rules-based” trading system being shredded and the Paris Agreement on climate change at risk of unravelling, it is one of the most significant meetings between two global leaders in the modern era. Yet if the two leaders are to find common ground, the G20 forum may offer the best chance. The G20 really does offer something special, says ANU researcher Adam Trigg. He’s spoken to more than 60 political leaders and senior officials to conclude this is more than your average international talkfest.

Madeleine De Gabriele

Deputy Editor: Energy + Environment

Top story

Storm clouds move over the Illawarra south of Sydney on Wednesday, November 28 2018. Sydney received more than a month’s worth of rain in just two hours, with Observatory Hill recording 84.6mm by 7am. The November average is 83.8mm. Dean Lewins/AAP

Sydney storms could be making the Queensland fires worse

Claire Yeo, Australian Bureau of Meteorology

Bushfires across Queensland are fanned by high winds pushed north by a strong low in NSW.

US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping are set to meet again at the G20 in Buenos Aires, at a pivotal moment in world economic history. AAP/EPA/Roman Pilipey

Much at stake as Donald Trump and Xi Jinping meet at G20

Tony Walker, La Trobe University

At a time when the rules-based trading system is being shredded and the Paris Agreement risks unravelling, it is vital that the G20 meeting between the two superpowers is a constructive one.

Leaders pose for the official G20 family photo at their 2014 summit in Brisbane. Andrew Taylor/AAP

Does the G20 summit really make a difference? World leaders reckon it does

Adam Triggs, Australian National University

All talk, no action? The G20 turns out to be a surprisingly productive international exercise.

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  • Tassie devils’ decline has left a feast of carrion for feral cats

    Calum Cunningham, University of Tasmania; Christopher Johnson, University of Tasmania; Menna Elizabeth Jones, University of Tasmania; Tracey Hollings, University of Melbourne

    A new study involving leaving animal carcasses strewn across Tasmania shows that in places where devils have dwindled, other scavengers are stepping up to fill the gap, with nasty knock-on effects.


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