According to the Bureau of Meteorology’s recent climate report, Australia has just experienced some of the hottest months on record.
A study conducted by the Bureau of Meteorology found that the country’s average and minimum temperatures for March were among the highest in history. On 6 April 2016, Sydney had its hottest April day on record, with a 34.2 degree celsius reading. This temperature beat a high of 33.9 degrees celsius that stood for 30 years.
According to experts, April has also produced higher than average temperatures so far. “There will be changes in how hot it is, as weather patterns do change. However, the underlying trend continues to drive new records in upper temperature and there’s no reason to believe this is going to stop in the near future. It cannot stop in the short term,” said Professor Stephen Wilson, an atmospheric chemist at UOW.
Global statistics found that although many countries are experiencing climate change, Australia is more affected than a number of these countries due to our naturally hot climate. Because Australia is surrounded by water, we are more likely to experience high temperatures.
Data from NASA said that climate change could also be attributed to small variations in the Earth’s orbit. These variations change the amount of solar energy the planet receives, which causes temperatures to change. NASA’s research concluded that the current warming trend is particularly significant, as humans probably cause most of it through the emission of greenhouse gases.
Professor Wilson said that climate change has the potential to create large issues for Australia. It could affect temperature, rainfall patterns and extreme weather events, such as cyclones.
“I think that the 20 years Australia has spent largely ignoring climate change means that economically we are more exposed to the risks of climate change than we should be,” he said. “Nearly all life that we take note of is affected by the climate, and so will be impacted upon by climate change. It will benefit some species and be devastating for others. The question is: do we care about those things we lose?”
Professor Wilson said there are plenty of things we could do to reduce climate change and our fossil fuel dependence, but these methods would force us to cope with a lot of change.
“I doubt that the current philosophy of trying to stop measurements of the current state of the planet and curtailing predicting what the changes might be here in Australia is going to do any good.”
An article by The Conversation found that ocean temperatures around Australia are also breaking records that were previously held since the 1950s, which is one of the many results of climate change.