Australia — SCIENTISTS have used natural records including tree rings and ice cores to reconstruct the first picture of Australia’s climate over the past 1000 years – and the news is we’re getting warmer.
The study, published in the Journal of Climate, found there were no warmer periods than in the years after 1950 and temperatures have been increasingly decade on decade ever since.
The Australasian region has not been warmer than it has been over the past 50 years and this cannot be explained by natural variability, lead researcher Joelle Gergis, from the University of Melbourne, said.
Dr Gergis said the findings suggested a strong influence of human-caused climate change in the Australasian region.
Australia does not have any formal climate records in the years before 1910 so researchers used collated data from 27 natural – or palaeoclimate records from decades of work across Australia and New Zealand.
The study will form the Australasian regions contribution to the 5th IPCC climate change assessment report.
University of Melbourne Co-researcher, Professor David Karoly said the research put to rest the popular belief that Australia experienced a similar warming the medieval period.
There was no sub-medieval warming period in the Australian region, and that the medieval region was not as warm or warmer than the present day, Prof Karoly said.
A spokesperson for Climate Change Minister, Greg Combet said the study contained the latest scientific research to find evidence that the climate has been changing in recent decades and that Australia is being affected.
The Government has received advice from respected scientific organisations including the CSIRO, the Bureau of Meteorology and the Australian Academy of Science that climate change is real, that greenhouse gas emissions from human activity are contributing and that if it continues unabated there will be significant adverse impacts on Australias environment and economy, the spokesperson said.
That is why we are taking action to tackle climate change including introducing a carbon pollution that will reduce our greenhouse gas emissions at the lowest cost to the economy.