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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

    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 nimbius (983462) on Friday January 17, 2014 @02:59PM (#45989565) Homepage
    given their natural habitat and evolutionary traits, this means its only a matter of time until those ferocious Drop Bears go extinct. the bad news of course is that we can no longer use the drop bear as an excuse for americans to choose New Zealand as their holiday destination.
    Granted its also important to note that should americans agree to reduce their carbon footprint and sign the damn kyoto treaty, we wont have to resort to shipping drop bears to safer climates in the states.
  • It's possible that both the AGW deniers and AGW alarmists are wrong. Climate change could be real, but caused by natural factors that are out of our control, the same ones that have caused ice ages and warm periods in the past when carbon outputs were nowhere near as high as they are now. But that theory would cause people to stop paying their taxes and mortgages and move to the tropics, so we can't have that.
    • by thephydes (727739)
      Yes you are correct, it is a possible scenario. However, real scientists look for real evidence that links correlation to causation. When we know that CO2 and others are greenhouse gasses (look that up if you're not sure what it means), AND we know that we have been pumping these gasses into the atmosphere at an ever increasing rate, AND we know that the earth has warmed, AND we are seeing some of the predicted effects eg extreme weather events, THEN the evidence matches the theory that we are a primary c
    • by Carnivore (103106) on Friday January 17, 2014 @03:27PM (#45989953)

      There is a nonzero chance that your third possibility is correct. But nonzero is all I'm going to give you. Have a look at the amounts of greenhouse gasses put into the atmosphere by a large natural phenomenon, vulcanism [usgs.gov]

      Looks like the numbers are from 2009 or so. Summary: It takes ~3 days of humans' output to equal one year of volcanic greenhouse gas emissions.

      The factors that are out of our control contribute a tiny fraction of our total.

      • Except that human contributions have only been going one way: increasing over time. Gas due to volcanoes is random.

        Oh, also, you're wrong about the magnitude. According to http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/hazards/gas/climate.php [usgs.gov], "all studies to date of global volcanic carbon dioxide emissions indicate that present-day subaerial and submarine volcanoes release less than a percent of the carbon dioxide released currently by human activities."

    • by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Friday January 17, 2014 @03:30PM (#45990003)

      "It's possible that both the AGW deniers and AGW alarmists are wrong. Climate change could be real, but caused by natural factors that are out of our control, the same ones that have caused ice ages and warm periods in the past when carbon outputs were nowhere near as high as they are now."

      The problem with this is that it is exactly what many of those so-called AGW "deniers" have been saying all along.

      • by dkleinsc (563838)

        The problem with this is that it is exactly what many of those so-called AGW "deniers" have been saying all along.

        Well, to be fair, the AGW deniers said that only after it was repeatedly demonstrated that there was in fact some variety of global warming going on. This is the "The barge is headed towards the bridge abutment, but that's not the fault of the engines, it's the current instead." argument. Which doesn't make much sense, because even in that situation, you still want to do everything you can to solve the problem.

        • "Well, to be fair, the AGW deniers said that only after it was repeatedly demonstrated that there was in fact some variety of global warming going on."

          That's not "being fair", that's being false. Part of my point was that it's not legitimate to lump everyone who disagrees into one "denier" category. That's about as accurate as saying all blacks are criminals or all Polish people are stupid.

          Some of those who disagree did so from the very beginning, on the premise that it's the Sun and other natural factors that drives climate change, not CO2. Just a fact.

          • Which is just as scientifically invalid, and not helping. It's worth lumping you guys together because you're all making the same argument:

            "I don't personally agree with the facts, so let's pretend they aren't there".

            • Which is just as scientifically invalid, and not helping. It's worth lumping you guys together because you're all making the same argument:

              "I don't personally agree with the facts, so let's pretend they aren't there".

              Which is only opinion, also inaccurate, and more to the point: off-topic. Which is not helping.

              • Not really. The correlations, core theory, and lack of other matching explanations totally invalidate every such point raised, and have been done to a sufficient degree that these people are basically tremendous liars, pretending to be moderate, while exposing a fundamentally indistinct point.

                Notably, you call a refutation of your own point "off topic" because, of course you would.

                • "Not really. The correlations, core theory, and lack of other matching explanations totally invalidate every such point raised, and have been done to a sufficient degree that these people are basically tremendous liars, pretending to be moderate, while exposing a fundamentally indistinct point."

                  Yes, really.

                  This conversation was NOT ABOUT whether the "deniers" were correct. And even if it had been, you are simply incorrect about their arguments. I have no intention of getting into a long argument about it here, though, because that's OFF-TOPIC.

      • And it's also demonstrably not true through the data, it, at best, sounds more moderate.

    • by microbox (704317)

      Climate change could be real, but caused by natural factors that are out of our control

      That would be one of the "skeptics" main talking points. It's not really an argument, since it is addressed extensively in literature. But the public conversation has trouble with "it's cold in New York, AGW must be a hoax".

    • by sjames (1099)

      Yes, we can't be absolutely sure the nutter randomly tossing gasoline and lit matches around started the forest fire, but we can be reasonably certain he's not helping the situation any.

  • The report recommends cutting emissions to control the weather. As if their lower carbon air will somehow hover only over Australia to keep temperatures down, while China and the other high polluters in Southeast Asia will hold in the heat. If only Australia can experience man-made global warming despite no global temperature increase in the past 10 years, surely they can cool off via the same mechanism as well!
  • 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 gmuslera (3436)
      Is not just CO2, there are more greenhouse gases and other affecting factors like i.e. deforestation. Check this map [io9.com] on countries contributing to climate change. The elephant in the room is US, comfortably first with 0.151C, then comes far China with 0.063 and Russia with 0.059.
      • Read how that was done. [newscientist.com]
        First, it is supposed to be based on historical data from 1906-2005. It is not based on previous data or on CURRENT data.

        IT'S a chart that no one wants to top, but global warming's worst offenders, in absolute terms, are the US, China, Russia, Brazil, India, Germany and the UK. New calculations suggest that these nations are responsible for more than 60 per cent of the global warming between 1906 and 2005.

        Basically, they cherry picked a small period of time. The fact that they stopped at 2005 is even more telling. Since 2005, US's emissions have dropped, while ALL of BRICS have gone way up.
        Heck, here is a better map that shows more CURRENT data. [guardian.co.uk] It came from CO2. In this case, it shows 2008's. What is truely wicked is that China has been going up 10-15% EACH YEA

    • by bunratty (545641)
      Exactly. Tax fuels according to how much carbon they contain, and tax imports according to how much fossil fuels the nations they come from emit. Then the free market will do the rest: develop more energy sources that don't emit carbon dioxide and produce more energy efficient products.
      • not fuels. GOODS.
        By taxing all goods that we consume, then it puts all nations on an equal footing. And once we start taxing our own products, local companies will push local govs/utilities to change their ways.
    • by Kjella (173770)

      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.

      Great, I love it. My country only has about 5 million people so by GDP we should be about to pollute about 60 times as much as the US per capita with its 300 million. I really look forward to the US in total producing about 1/200th (approximate number of states recognized by the UN) of the world's CO2 emissions. Give me gas guzzlers, screw any restrictions on industry and taxes, levies and fees because we're home free baby. Oh wait, did you only want to apply that against bigger countries as China and India

    • by shikaisi (1816846) on Friday January 17, 2014 @10:57PM (#45995189)

      What's with all the China-bashing? A nation with 1.35 billion people to feed and clothe has to get it's energy from somewhere. Not to mention all the products they are manufacturing for you in the West.

      % of electricity generated from renewable sources [wikipedia.org]

      China 17.88% USA 10 .05%

      The Chinese government is promoting huge projects for investment in solar, wind and hydro.

      I'm not saying they are innocent, but at least they seem to be trying to do something.

    • To be fair to China they are working on dealing with the problem too. They lead the world in some forms of renewable energy and are building new nuclear plants. Their country is growing rapidly and they see how the west polluted as it did so, and so are unwilling to give up the same opportunity.

      It's not as simple as China not caring or not making any effort, it's just that they are only now getting the skills and technology needed to be cleaner. Pollution is a big deal in China and they are making efforts to sort it out, but obviously it is going to take time and economic growth is running at 10% a year.

      What we need to do is encourage them as much as possible, and develop new technologies with them in order to help. None of this treating China like the enemy that automatically steals all our tech. Aside from anything else we need to have clean tech become extremely cheap and widely available before Africa really starts to boom.

  • 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 bloodhawk (813939)

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

      Australia: Percent of Normal Precipitation [noaa.gov]

      This is pretty normal in Australia, Interior of Australia has a long history of 4+ year droughts every decade or 2 then we get summers with insane levels of rainfall flooding everything, Australia rarely does things by the averages, it is usually one extreme or the other. I grew up on Australian farm. I vividly remember the long drought in the 80's and my father refers to that as a moderate one compared to what he had in the 60's and 70's. We have photos of our farm as a dust bowl in 30's as well, something

  • There used to be a science based majority on /. but these days anything on climate science brings out mostly libertarian deniers-by-other-means. No there is no scientific debate.

  • 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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