"Angry Summer " Made Worse by Climate Change in Australia

Celsias

Summer heat infographic

Heat Records
 Summer 2012/13 wasthe hottest on record.
 Temperature records were setin every state and territory; no previous event hasresulted in
somany temperature records.
 Key heatrecordsinclude:
o HottestJanuary on record for Australia as a whole.
o Hottest day on record for Australia as a whole on 7 January, at 40.30 °C,surpassing
the previousrecord set on 21December 1972 (40.17 °C).
o Record forthe consecutive number of days where average dailymaximum
temperature forthe whole of Australia was over 39°C.
 Forseven daysrunning,from2 to 8 January 2013, Australia experienced
average dailymaximumtemperaturesfor Australia as a whole over 39 °C,
easily breaking the previousrecord offour consecutive days over 39 °C setin
1972.
 There have only been 21 daysin 102 years ofrecords where the average
maximumtemperature across Australia has exceeded 39 °C; eight ofthese
days happened thissummer(2–8 January and 11 January 2013).
 More than 70% of Australia experienced extreme temperatures atsome stage during the
heatwave ofDecember ‐ January 2012‐13.
Bushfires
 In the first weeks ofJanuary, dangerous bushfire conditions occurred inmany areas across
Australia withmajor bushfiresflaring in Tasmania,New South Wales and Victoria.
o On 4 January 2013 up to 40 bushfiresignited across Tasmania undersevere to
extreme fire danger conditions.
o On 8 January 2013 extreme and catastrophic bushfire conditions were declared
acrossmany areasin southeast Australia.
Rainfall
 Between 22 and 29 January 2013 extreme rainfall occurred overthe east coast of
Queensland and theNew South Wales coast north ofthe Illawarra. The heavy rainfall was
the result offormertropical cycloneOswaldmoving south, justinland ofthe coast.
 Victoria and South Australia have had the driestsummerin decades.
 Sincemid‐2012much of Australia has been drierthan usual.Key rainfallrecordsinclude:
o On 28 January 2013,themost extreme daily rainfall ofthe event wa

 

 

The latest report from the Australian  Federal Government's Climate Commission  makes very scary reading. It says the weather extremes experienced around the country this summer were made worse by climate change.

 

 

The report - The Angry Summer - says the extreme heat, floods and bushfires experienced around country were all aggravated by a shifting climate, and it warns the trend is likely to continue.

Key facts:

  1. The Australian summer over 2012 and 2013 has been defined by extreme weather events across much of the continent, including record-breaking heat, severe bushfires, extreme rainfall and damaging flooding. Extreme heatwaves and catastrophic bushfire conditions during the Angry Summer were made worse by climate change.
  2. All weather, including extreme weather events is influenced by climate change. All extreme weather events are now occurring in a climate system that is warmer and moister than it was 50 years ago. This influences the nature, impact and intensity of extreme weather events.
  3. Australia’s Angry Summer shows that climate change is already adversely affecting Australians. The significant impacts of extreme weather on people, property, communities and the environment highlight the serious consequences of failing to adequately address climate change.
  4. It is highly likely that extreme hot weather will become even more frequent and severe in Australia and around the globe, over the coming decades. The decisions we make this decade will largely determine the severity of climate change and its influence on extreme events for our grandchildren.
  5. It is critical that we are aware of the influence of climate change on many types of extreme weather so that communities, emergency services and governments prepare for the risk of increasingly severe and frequent extreme weather
In case that's not enough to knock your confidence in Australia here's some of it in more detail

 

Heat Records
 Summer 2012/13 was the hottest on record.
 Temperature records were set in every state and territory; no previous event has resulted inso many temperature records.
 Key heat recordsinclude:
o Hottest January on record for Australia as a whole.
o Hottest day on record for Australia as a whole on 7 January, at 40.30 °C,surpassing
the previous record set on 21 December 1972 (40.17 °C).
o Record for the consecutive number of days where average daily maximum
temperature for the whole of Australia was over 39°C.
 For seven days running,from 2 to 8 January 2013, Australia experienced
average daily maximum temperatures for Australia as a whole over 39 °C,
easily breaking the previous record off our consecutive days over 39 °C set in
1972.
 There have only been 21 day sin 102 years o frecords where the average
maximum temperature across Australia has exceeded 39 °C; eight of these
days happened this summer(2–8 January and 11 January 2013).
 More than 70% of Australia experienced extreme temperatures at some stage during the heatwave of December ‐ January 2012‐13.fires

Bushfires
 In the first weeks of January, dangerous bushfire conditions occurred in many areasacross
Australia with major bushfires flaring in Tasmania,New South Wales and Victoria.
o On 4 January 2013 up to 40 bushfires ignited across Tasmania under severe to
extreme fire danger conditions.
o On 8 January 2013 extreme and catastrophic bushfire conditions were declared
acrossmany areas in southeast Australia.
Rainfall
angry summer extreme rainfall
 Between 22 and 29 January 2013 extreme rainfall occurred overthe east coast of
Queensland and the New South Wales coast north ofthe Illawarra. The heavy rainfall was
the result of former tropical cyclone Oswald moving south, just inland of the coast.
 Victoria and South Australia have had the driest summer in decades.
 Since mid‐2012 much of Australia has been drier than usual.Key rainfall records include:
o On 28 January 2013,the most extreme daily rainfall of the event was recorded over
the Gold Coast hinterland/New South Wales border ranges catchment, as well as the
edge of the Brisbane River catchment.
Sites in both of these catchments recorded rainfall for a 24‐hour period in excess of
700mm.
o Rainfall from 22‐29 January alone was heavy enough to break the January monthly
rainfall records for the area between Rockhampton and Bundaberg.
o The one‐day rainfall averaged over the Burnett catchment in Queensland

 

 

Key rainfall records include:
o On 28 January 2013,themost extreme daily rainfall of the event was recorded over
theGold Coast hinterland/New South Wales border ranges catchment, as well asthe
edge of the Brisbane River catchment.
Sites in both of these catchments recorded rainfall for a 24‐hour period in excess of
700mm.
o Rainfall fromc22‐29 January alone was heavy enough to break the January monthly
rainfall records for the area between Rockhampton and Bundaberg.
o The one‐day rainfall averaged over the Burnett catchment in Queensland was nearly
70% higher than the previous record.
o On 25 January 2013 many areas around Rockhampton recorded rainfall for a 24‐
hour period in excess of 400mm.
Floods
 Extreme rainfall from former tropical cyclone Oswald triggered severe flooding inaust floods 2013manyareas within 200 km of the Queensland and far northern New South Wales coastlines.
 Areas most affected were the Burnett catchment near Bundaberg in Queensland, and the Clarence catchment near Grafton in New South Wales. Both of these rivers reached record flood peaks.
The extreme weather continued over February,such as the intense low pressure system that moved along the east coast of New South Wales, leading to flooding and wind damage in places along the coast.

 

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  • Posted on March 5, 2013. Listed in:

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