Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Australia's hottest September on record

Recently an elderly relative claimed he hadn't noticed that the weather has changed, obviously quoting denialist propaganda. The thing is, he has never lived anywhere long enough to know whether or not it has changed. I have, and it has definitely gotten warmer.

By: Dr. Jeff Masters, 2:26 PM GMT on October 23, 2013

Sydney, Australia and the Blue Mountains to its west endured extreme fire weather conditions on Wednesday without catastrophe, as "aggressive" and "high-risk" fire fighting strategies kept the 71 fires burning in New South Wales from causing major devastation.


Australia has just had its hottest September on record, and the 12-month period ending in September 2013 set a record for the hottest 12-month period in Australian history. Australia's warmest summer and 3rd warmest winter on record occurred during this 12-month period. It has also been quite dry in the fire region over the past few months, with soil moisture levels in the lowest 10% historically for this time of year.


“Climate change is increasing the risk of more frequent and longer heat waves and more extreme hot days, as well as exacerbating bushfire conditions.” So said the independent non-profit Australia Climate Council in a report on the record September 2013 heat in Australia.


Australia's Climate Commission was defunded after the new government led by Prime Minister Tony Abbott took power in September 2013, writes Brian Kahn at However, the commissioners banded together and used crowd-funding to raise $1 million to start the non-profit Climate Council, a nonprofit organization aimed at providing climate information on Australia to the public. The Council is planning to release a report specifically about wildfires in November 2013.


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