Australia’s still heating up dangerously


Longer fire seasons, more intense tropical cyclones and acid-riddled oceans are all signs of rising global temperatures, according to a new report.

Australia’s climate has warmed by an average of 1.47C since national records began in 1910, according to the new State of the Climate report released on Wednesday.

The eight years from 2013 to 2020 were the hottest on record, with 2019 taking the top spot for the hottest year on record.

“Greenhouse gas concentrations are at the highest levels seen on Earth in at least two million years,” said CSIRO Center for Climate Science Director Jaci Brown.

Since the 1950s, extreme fire weather has increased and fire seasons start earlier and end later.

Increased precipitation in later La Nina seasons can increase fire risk as thick vegetation dries out and creates fuel loads.

The Bureau of Meteorology and CSIRO report found that in the coming decades Australia will experience increasing air temperatures and decreasing cool season rainfall, with short but heavy rains expected.

Sea levels will continue to rise and warmer ocean temperatures will mean coral bleaching will become more likely on the nation’s coastline.

“We are seeing mass coral bleaching events more often and this year for the first time we have seen mass coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef in a La Nina year,” the report said. Dr Brown.

Australians will experience fewer tropical cyclones, but those that do occur will be more intense.

As residents of flooded areas could attest, the intensity of short-duration precipitation increased by 10% per storm.

Science Minister Ed Husic said the report reinforced the urgent need for climate action.

“We are taking action across government to reduce emissions while creating jobs and economic opportunities,” he said, pointing to the $3 billion set aside by the National Reconstruction Fund for renewable energy and low-emission technologies.

The State of the Climate Report has been published every two years since 2010.

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