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Earth Australia

Heat Waves In Australia Are Getting More Frequent, and Hotter 279

Posted by Soulskill
from the too-bad-the-cold-last-week-disproved-global-warming dept.
vikingpower writes "In a landmark report on bushfires and climate change (PDF), the Australian Climate Council concludes that heat waves in Australia, as driven by climate change, are becoming more frequent — and that they get hotter. 'It is crucial that communities, emergency services, health services and other authorities prepare for the increasing severity and frequency of extreme fire conditions,' says the Council in the report. Sarah Perkins, one of the report's co-authors, was interviewed by The Guardian Australia. '"While we can't blame climate change for any one event, we can certainly see its fingerprint. This is another link in the chain." Perkins said her latest work had analyzed heatwave trends up to 2013. She said the trend "just gets worse – it's a bit scary really."' In 2009, the United Nations World Meteorological Organization signaled that a Southeast Australian heatwave was the hottest in 100 years."
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Heat Waves In Australia Are Getting More Frequent, and Hotter

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  • The Lord Humongous! (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 17, 2014 @02:55PM (#45989501)

    Once again, you'll make him unleash his dogs of war as you send your weaklings into the field to to find a rig big enough to haul that fat tank of gas...
     
    No more Men at Work... No Midnight Oil...No wonder Australia is going to hell in a hand basket.

  • by timeOday (582209) on Friday January 17, 2014 @03:00PM (#45989579)
    Didn't finish reading the summary, eh? "'While we can't blame climate change for any one event, we can certainly see its fingerprint." This story is about a trend, not the weather on a given day. A crucial difference.

    "The report, which will be released in full in February, finds that climate change is having a key influence on a trend that has seen the number of hot days in Australia double and the duration and frequency of heatwaves increase in the period between 1971 and 2008."

    So, yes, it's global warming.

  • by WindBourne (631190) on Friday January 17, 2014 @03:28PM (#45989957) Journal
    Look, the west is working on lowering their emissions.
    However, China alone emits over 1/3 of all CO2 emissions. Worse, by 2020, they will account for over 1/2 assuming that no other nation lowers theirs (and if other nations lower theirs, then it will probably be around 2017). In addition, the rest of BRICS are busy increasing their emissions.
    And with kyoto and other nations trying to tie emissions to individuals, rather than to GDP, this will continue to happen. The only way to stop this is to have ALL NATIONS lower their emissions at the same time. In addition, it needs to be tied to GDP, rather than per capitia. Finally, it needs to be based on empirical data, not SWAGs.
    And the only way to make sure that ALL nations work on bringing emissions down is for nations to tax all consumed goods, local and imported, with a tax based on where the good and its parts come from. In addition, ideally, it would include something for the transportation of the item.

    Until that point, emissions WILL rise faster.
  • by fiannaFailMan (702447) on Friday January 17, 2014 @03:32PM (#45990019) Journal

    to earn big bucks from climate change, although quite how they earn this money is never spelled out

    Climate Change Is the Next $10 Trillion Opportunity [yahoo.com]

    While I'm not debating that the climate is changing, let's also not pretend that this is not all about $$$. .

    The article you have linked shows that there are business opportunities created as a result of dealing with climate change. It does not show how climate scientists benefit from the results of their studies going one way or the other, as is often alleged by climate change deniers.

  • by Dixie_Flatline (5077) <vincent.jan.gohNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Friday January 17, 2014 @03:36PM (#45990077) Homepage

    Arctic Ice extent expanding this year is no surprise--most climate scientists predicted that would happen this year. Why? Because it was SO LOW last year, it basically had no direction to go but up.

    If you roll snake eyes on your first roll, don't be surprised if your next roll is better.

  • by gmuslera (3436) on Friday January 17, 2014 @03:54PM (#45990309) Homepage Journal
    Had broken it every winter since 1971? Because in australia last year they had to add 2 colors to the temperature charts [tweaktown.com] because how hot things were then, and this year things aren't so far from that, and if 2 years is not enough you have the previous 40 contiguous years where the same trend was there. Thats the difference between long standing climate trends and the weather in a particular season of a limited area. Is the forest the one that matters, not the tree you just stumbled upon. And if you can see the forest because you are not high enough, maybe you should check what the people that can see the whole forest say [nasa.gov]. The cold fact is that the world as a whole is getting hotter.
  • by mc6809e (214243) on Friday January 17, 2014 @04:25PM (#45990661)

    Interior Australia seems to be suffering a terrible drought while Northern Australia is being inundated.

    Australia: Percent of Normal Precipitation [noaa.gov]

  • by tbannist (230135) on Friday January 17, 2014 @04:36PM (#45990827)
    I don't know whether you're cherry-picking or just ignorant. From the National Snow & Ice Data Center [nsidc.org]:

    Arctic sea ice extent for December was 12.38 million square kilometers (4.78 million square miles). This is 700,000 square kilometers or 270,300 square miles below the 1981 to 2010 average, making it the 4th lowest December extent in the 36-year satellite data record.

  • by timeOday (582209) on Friday January 17, 2014 @04:49PM (#45990957)
    You conveniently didn't quote what I quoted immediately before saying "yes it's global warming," so I'll repeat it:

    "...a trend that has seen the number of hot days in Australia double and the duration and frequency of heatwaves increase in the period between 1971 and 2008."

    Now, do people suddenly get more interested in global warming when it's hot outside? Sure! Why? Because people are essentially irrational, and don't live very long relative to the planet. That includes me and people I agree with, too. But it doesn't change the facts of a 35+ year trend.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 17, 2014 @05:18PM (#45991243)

    much of Europe has been experiencing its coldest weather in more than 10 years

    What? In huge areas of central Europe (Czech Republic, Slovakia, Austria, Hungary, Poland and large parts of Germany), there was no winter to spek of, so far. Trees are blooming, birds did not migrate south, the average temperatures are about 6 degrees C above normal.

  • by InfiniteLoopCounter (1355173) on Friday January 17, 2014 @06:21PM (#45992043)

    The parent post is correct, but Greenpeace does not dictate government policy in Australia.

    Australia has 31% of the world's uranium reservers [world-nuclear.org] (the world's largest) and has in recent years declined production slightly (probably due to Germany's [europa.eu] and Japan's [nies.go.jp] 'efforts' that increase greenhouse gas emissions across Europe and Japan). Australia does not use nuclear power for energy generation or for military use or for icebreakers or any use other than ANSTO [ansto.gov.au] (small research lab that produces radioisotopes for medical use).

    Australia could have gone nuclear ages ago, but didn't. Similarly to how it cut space research and plans to build rocket launch platforms, it is a country of little physics achievements that haven't been done by overseas people. The problem is that is also a county full of coal, and with other countries running out of coal, it might well be the place for coal globally over the next 50 years if policy doesn't change domestically.

    Already the highest greehouse gas emitting OECD country in the world [garnautreview.org.au] in the future if the coal extractions can be seen large from space (like tar pits in Canada) then it might become the biggest contributing country to global warming on a global scale indirectly (due to use of its coal and nonuse of uranium, not to mention thorium).

  • by RobHart (70431) on Friday January 17, 2014 @06:21PM (#45992053) Homepage

    As a slightly different slant on this troll rousing topic, it is worth noting a few things.
    1) Per capita, Australia is the worlds highest emitter of greenhouse gases as we use mostly coal to generate electricity. Furthermore, we are one of the worlds largest coal miners/exporters and so contribute significantly to global CO2 production elsewhere.
    2) In September, Australia elected a new government that is predominantly in the hands of climate change deniers. The Prime Minister (Tony Abbott) is on the public record saying that climate change is "crap" (http://blogs.abc.net.au/victoria/2009/12/climate-change-is-crap-tony-abbot-said-to-the-pyrenees-advocate.html). Amongst the new government's first acts was to defund the Climate Commission (along with several other "green" initiatives of previous governments). They are also committed to repealing the existing Carbon Tax legislation, but cannot (yet) force this through the upper house (Senate) which they do not control.
    3) In response to its defunding, the Climate Commission reformed itself as the Climate Council, raising around $1 million in under two weeks. Whilst not big bikkies in US terms, this is extremely significant in a small population country like Australia that demonstrates that many Australians feel very strongly about climate change - strongly enough to not only make a one off donation but to commit to regular, monthly donations to support the ongoing public information work of the Climate Council.

    From their "about" page http://www.climatecouncil.org.au/about-us/
    "The Climate Council is an independent non-profit organisation funded by donations by the public. Our mission is to provide authoritative, expert advice to the Australian public on climate change."

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