Australia endures sweltering 'angry summer'

March 10, 2014
Seven of the 10 warmest years on record in Australia have occurred since 1998 increasing the risk of deadly forest fires

Australia has endured another "angry summer" with more than 150 temperature records smashed, a new report said Monday, with a warning that heatwaves and sweltering conditions will only get worse.

Among the records broken, Perth had its hottest night ever at 29.7 Celsius (85.4 Fahrenheit), Adelaide recorded its warmest February day (44.7 Celsius) while Sydney went through its driest summer in 27 years, the independent Climate Council watchdog said.

It follows Australia experiencing its hottest year on record in 2013, according to official figures.

"Australia experienced another angry summer," said council scientist Tim Flannery, whose organisation analyses climate data from across the country.

"We had substantial heat records, heatwaves and other events."

Australia's southeast bore the brunt with prolonged heatwaves in Adelaide, Melbourne and Canberra while parts of the states of South Australia, Western Australia and Victoria were ravaged by bushfires.

Elsewhere, drought conditions blighted inland parts of the country's east with Queensland in the grip of its most widespread drought ever, while areas in the north and west experienced above average rainfall.

Farmer Marshall Rodda (L) and Gilbert Fryatt (R) stand in an empty dam during the country's worst drought in a century in the Australian wheat belt area of Wimmera, northwest of Melbourne, November 14 2006

The latest report follows a joint study last week by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation and the Bureau of Meteorology that said temperatures across Australia were, on average, almost 1.0 degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) warmer than a century ago.

It said seven of the 10 warmest years on record have occurred since 1998 while over the past 15 years the frequency of very hot months has increased five-fold.

"The latest summer was an another example of climate change tearing through the record books," Flannery said.

"It's not just about one summer but an overall trend to more extreme weather.

"Things are getting bad and if we want to stop them getting worse this is the critical decade for action. We need to cut the emission of greenhouse gasses and we need to do it urgently."

Australia is among the world's worst per capita polluters due to reliance on coal-fired power and mining exports.

Since assuming office last September, the conservative government of Tony Abbott has moved to abolish an Australian carbon tax designed to combat climate change, which charges the biggest polluters for their emissions at a fixed price.

Abbott, a long-time climate change sceptic, instead favours a "direct action" plan that includes an incentive fund to pay companies to increase energy efficiency, a controversial sequestration of carbon in soil scheme, and the planting of 20 million trees.

The government last year abolished what was then the Climate Change Commission, saying an independent body was not needed.

But it soon rebranded as the Climate Commission—a non-profit body funded by public donations to continue providing information campaigns about the science of , emissions targets and international action.

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4.2 / 5 (5) Mar 10, 2014
Australia experiencing its hottest year on record in 2013!

Australia tempertures where 1.0 degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) warmer than a century ago. And this is in the cooler southern hemisphere. Soon you will have to wonder, are those crazy AGW scientists right about global warming.
1 / 5 (6) Mar 11, 2014
Hey HowStupid, most of Australia is desert, if you hadn't noticed.
5 / 5 (2) Mar 11, 2014
and mysteriously... Deserts can get hotter. It's almost as if... they're not magical "as hot as is already possible" environments. Much of Antarctica is a desert too... yet it also warms. As does the Sahara. As does... well pretty much every where on the planet.
1 / 5 (2) Mar 11, 2014
Aircon at home. Aircon in car. Aircon at work.

Summer seemed quite ordinary.
5 / 5 (3) Mar 11, 2014
The @antigoracle (I guess he hates Al Gore) says;
Hey HowStupid, most of Australia is desert, if you hadn't noticed.

But if you read the article it says;

The 10 warmest years on record have occurred since 1998 while over the past 15 years the frequency of very hot months has increased five-fold.

So it should be obvious to @antigoracle that it doesn't matter if most of Australia is desert, it's still getting hotter and hotter. How hot would you like it @antigoreacle? 1C 2C 4C?
5 / 5 (2) Mar 12, 2014
Even this was aired on Sunday Night about a week ago (farmers struggling with drought).

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