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People are seen in a street affected by the flood on March 23 in Windsor, Australia. Photo: Flavio Brancaleone/Getty Images

Rainfall is easing in some parts of Australia Tuesday, but many rivers continue to rise in the wake of nearly a year's worth of rainfall that fell in just six days in New South Wales and Queensland.

Why it matters: The flooding is the latest in a string of extreme weather disasters that have struck Australia in the past year. The country has careened from drought and devastating wildfires to unusually heavy rains and flooding not seen in decades.

  • More heavy rain is still forecast on Tuesday for southeastern Queensland and northeastern New South Wales, as well as the south coast of New South Wales, according to the Bureau of Meteorology.
  • As a low-pressure area intensifies and moves south to the Tasman Sea, heavy rains are also expected in Tasmania, where up to 8 inches is forecast, along with strong winds.

The big picture: Australia is ground zero for emerging impacts of climate change, from heat waves and wildfires to flooding. Scientific studies have established clear ties between increasingly common and heavy rainfall events and a warming ocean and atmosphere.

  • As temperatures increase, the amount of moisture the air can hold also climbs.

What they're saying: "For many communities dealing with floods right now, this is the latest in a line of climate change-exacerbated extreme weather events they have faced, including drought, the Black Summer bushfires, and scorching heat waves," said Climate Council spokesperson and climate scientist Will Steffen.

The bottom line: Prime Minister Scott Morrison's administration has resisted citing climate change as one of the causes of this disaster.

Go deeper

21 mins ago - Politics & Policy

National parks "drowning in tourists"

Expand chart
Data: National Park Service; note: Gateway National Recreation Area is excluded due to missing data in 2021. Chart: Connor Rothschild/Axios

National Parks across the U.S. are overflowing with a post-pandemic crush of tourists, leading to increased issues with congestion, traffic jams, user experience, strain on staff and increased damage to the parks.

Why it matters: Some are seeing such a record number they're being forced to limit, and even close, access to certain areas to avoid the danger of eroding the land. The result, ultimately, could change the way Americans interact with the parks going forward.

Why Mark Zuckerberg is going meta

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Michaela Handrek-Rehle/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Facebook's "next chapter," Mark Zuckerberg says, is to be prime builder of "the metaverse" — an open, broadly distributed, 3D dimension online where, he says, we will all conduct much of our work and personal lives.

The big picture: Zuckerberg admits Facebook will only be one of many companies building this next-generation model of today's internet — but he also intends Facebook to lead the pack.

21 mins ago - Health

The new mask logic

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The Biden administration is essentially asking vaccinated Americans to help save the unvaccinated from themselves.

The big picture: America's "pandemic of the unvaccinated" has gotten bad enough that vaccine mandates are starting to catch on, and masks are coming back — in some cases, even for the vaccinated.

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