As summer comes around in Australia, stagnant air is creating a heat dome over New South Wales, cooking up another heatwave only a year after record-breaking wildfires. We may be numbed to these headlines by now, but it is truly impressive to see each year hotter than the last.
Much of Australia is baking in heatwave with mid-40°C temperatures, bringing back memories of the apocalyptic fires that ravaged the country last year. Fire brigades are on full alert and total fire bans are in place, yet the country braces. We see beneath a 3-day forecast of the maximum temperatures Australia could experience, obtained from ClimateReanalyzer.Org.
Temperatures above 50°C have only happened three times in recorded Australian history, but this year they could occur over most of the country. This is all part of a very obvious trend according to some scientists, who show that heatwaves have undergone major increase since the 2000’s compared with the previous decades.
- Heatwave intensification is accelerating
- They may be up to 85% more frequent in a 2°C VS. a 1.5°C world.
- They could last up to a month at a time in a 3°C hotter world.
The takeaway: as climate change begins to manifest itself more ostentatiously, we are repeatedly warned that it ramps up exponentially. We have locked in a future where adaptation will be necessary, but we can still avoid the bulk of it by acting now. In a war by inches, the first step is information dissemination. Please stay up to date, and educate those around you.
This article was written by Owen Mulhern.
You might also like: Can Global Port Operations Withstand Climate Change?
Map from Climate Reanalyzer (https://ClimateReanalyzer.org), Climate Change Institute, University of Maine, USA.
Trancoso, Ralph, et al. “Heatwaves intensification in Australia: A consistent trajectory across past, present and future.” Science of The Total Environment 742 (2020): 140521.