A hotter, drier Australia

In late October, the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) and CSIRO launched their biannual report, State of the Climate 2016. It revealed that Australia’s average surface air temperature and surrounding sea temperature have both increased by around 1 °C since 1910. Extreme heat events and fires have increased, while rainfall has decreased in the south and increased in the north. Our oceans have warmed and become more acidic. These trends are all set to continue, bringing increased drought and very hot days, and fewer very cool days.

Another report just published by Australian researchers in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society has also predicted that the extreme global temperatures of 2015 will become normal by 2030. And as for Australia, that record-breaking summer in 2013 will just be the average come 2035.

Australia’s independent Climate Council emphasised that climate change was the key driver behind many of the trends in the BoM/CSIRO report, and Climate Councillor Professor Lesley Hughes said, “Australia’s emissions reduction target of 26% to 28% on 2005 levels by 2030 is not sufficient to protect Australians from worsening heatwaves, bushfires and other extreme weather events.”

www.climatecouncil.org.au, www.bom.gov.au/state-of-the-climate, www.bit.ly/2gtXKla

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