The Angry Summer: In 90 days, 123 weather records were broken throughout Australia. Climate change was a major driving force behind a string of extreme weather events that alternately scorched and soaked large sections of Australia 2012/2013, according to a report issued by the government's Climate Commission on 4 March 2013. Graphic: Climate Commission

4 March 2013

SYDNEY, Australia (The New York Times) – Climate change was a major driving force behind a string of extreme weather events that alternately scorched and soaked large sections of Australia in recent months, according to a report [pdf] issued Monday by the government’s Climate Commission.

A four-month heat wave during the Australian summer culminated in January in bush fires that tore through the eastern and southeastern coasts of the country, where most Australians live. Those record-setting temperatures were followed by torrential rains and flooding in the more densely populated states of New South Wales and Queensland that left at least six people dead and caused roughly $2.43 billion in damage along the eastern seaboard.

Climate scientists have long hesitated to link individual weather events directly to climate change. Australian climate scientists in particular have been cautious to connect the two in part because of the country’s naturally occurring cycles of drought and flooding rains, which are already extreme when compared with much of the rest of the world.

But the report from the Climate Commission, titled The Angry Summer, argues that the frequency and ferocity of recent extreme weather events indicate an acceleration that is unlikely to abate unless serious steps are taken to prevent further changes to the planet’s environment. […]

At least 123 weather records fell during the 90-day period the report examined. Included were milestones like the hottest summer on record, the hottest day for Australia as a whole and the hottest seven consecutive days ever recorded. To put it into perspective, in the 102 years since Australia began gathering national records, there have been 21 days when the country averaged a high of more than 102 degrees Fahrenheit (39 Celsius), and eight of them were in 2013. […]

“Statistically, there is a 1-in-500 chance that we are talking about natural variation causing all these new records,” Will Steffen, the director of the Climate Change Institute at Australian National University, told The Sydney Morning Herald. “Not too many people would want to put their life savings on a 500-to-1 horse.” [more]

Report Blames Climate Change for Extremes in Australia


  1. Tommy Hormung said...

    Well, something to think about for our upcoming summer here in the Norther Hemisphere. There is much more land mass in the north as compared to the south, so will we be even hotter? I can't say for sure so stay tuned for the OUR summer version of the greatest ongoing Sci-fi show that we are all extras in, 'Global Climate Disaster in the 21st Century'.

    But sadly we can't just turn the show off or change channels if/when things get too scary for us to handle any more...  


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