Expect more deadly heatwaves in Queensland, scientists say


Expect more deadly heatwaves in Queensland, scientists say

18 February 2014

published by www.theaustralian.com.au


USA — Scientists forecast that the type of extreme hot weather we now regard as unusual will become a normal pattern in many regions, occurring every year or two.

Heatwaves like much of Queensland has been recording this year are already hotter, longer, more frequent and occurring earlier in the season.

Over the past 100 years heatwaves have caused more deaths than any other natural hazard.

The CSIRO and Weather Bureau have found that since 1950 the annual number of record days across Australia has more than doubled and maximum and minimum temperatures have increased by 0.9 per cent.

A Climate Council report released on Monday says this shows that the frequency of record hot days are now more than three times the frequency of record cold days.

It’s even worse down south, with hot weather in Adelaide, Melbourne and Canberra having already reached levels predicted under warming scenarios for 2030.

Chief councillor Tim Flannery said that climate change had made heatwaves worse over the past 60 years.

“In a stable climate that would not be happening,” Professor Flannery said.

Transport, electricity services, wildlife and the Great Barrier Reef are all affected by heatwaves.

“We see another impact of heatwaves in … an extended bushfire season,” Professor Flannery said.
 


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