’Angry’ Aussie summer breaks records
Australia endured a summer of record-breaking extremes, scientists said yesterday, with climate change tipped to increase the frequency and severity of such phenomena.
Intense heat waves, bushfires and flooding plagued the December-February summer season with more than 200 records broken over 90 days, the independent Climate Council said in a report.
“Climate change — driven largely by the burning of coal, oil and gas — is cranking up the intensity of extreme weather events,” the “Angry Summer” report said.
Australia has warmed by approximately 1°C since 1910, according to the biannual State of the Climate report from the Bureau of Meteorology and national science body CSIRO in October.
While bushfires are common in arid summers, climate change has led to more extremely hot days and severe fire seasons.
“For Australia, it’s harder to see the impact of climate change because we have a variable climate,” said Will Steffen, a climate scientist at the Council.
“But our extremes are becoming so extreme that we can actually see the influence of climate change quite clearly.”
Steffen said such weather phenomena would worsen “over the next couple of decades” while efforts to reduce emissions catch up with rising carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere.