20/09/2017

'Weird Winter': Climate Change Behind Australia's Record Hot And Dry Weather

Fairfax

Australia had its hottest winter on record with temperatures up by two degrees celsius on average and it is related to worsening climate change, according to a leading scientific group.
Winter warm spells are lasting longer, occurring more often and becoming more intense, a report by not-for-profit group the Climate Council found.
Australia has posted a record warm winter - even if it didn't always feel that way. Photo: Nick Moir
In addition to the warmth, the nation experienced its second driest June on record and the driest winter since 2002, the Hot & Dry: Australia's Weird Winter report found.
Ecologist Professor Lesley Hughes said there were more than 260 heat and low rainfall records set throughout the season.
"Without any meaningful action to tackle climate change, we will continue to see many more hot winters, just like this, as global temperatures rise," Ms Hughes said.
"We must take meaningful action to strongly reduce Australia's emissions from fossil fuels.
"The current situation in which the government continues to not only delay real action to reduce emissions, but is actively supporting further development of coal-fired power is simply nonsensical."
The unseasonable weather has led to an earlier start to the bushfire season in many parts of Australia, especially Victoria and other southern states, she said.
Professor Hughes urged the federal government to get on with tackling climate change.
"The solution remains the same - clean, efficient and affordable renewable energy and storage technology."
Australia's average winter temperatures have increased by about one degree celsius since 1910, driven by climate change as a direct result of burning fossil fuels – coal, oil and gas, the council said.
The council was formed by Australia's biggest crowd-funding campaign after the Tony Abbott government abolished the Climate Commission in 2013.

Climate CouncilLesley Hughes

DOWNLOAD THE REPORT
Climate Change made Australia’s warmest winter on record an astounding 60 times more likely, our new report highlights.
The “Hot & Dry: Australia’s Weird Winter,” report shows the nation experienced its warmest winter on record (for average maximum temperatures), while more than 260 heat and low rainfall records were also broken throughout the season.
Climate Councillor and ecologist, Professor Lesley Hughes said Australia’s hottest winter in history was related to worsening climate change.
“Without any meaningful action to tackle climate change, we will continue to see many more hot winters, just like this, as global temperatures rise,” she said.

“We must take meaningful action to strongly reduce Australia’s emissions from fossil fuels."

Key findings include:
  • Australia had its warmest winter on record, in terms of average maximum temperatures, reaching nearly 2ºC above average.
  • More than 260 heat and low rainfall records were broken during the winter months.
  • The nation experienced its second driest June on record and the driest winter since 2002.
  • The exceptionally warm and dry winter was made 60 times more likely by climate change.
  • Australia’s average winter temperatures have increased by around 1ºC since 1910, driven by climate change, as a direct result of burning fossil fuels – coal, oil and gas.
  • Winter warm spells are lasting longer, occurring more often and becoming more intense.

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