[Vision2020] BBC 2-1-19: Australia weather: January was hottest month on record

Ted Moffett starbliss at gmail.com
Fri Feb 1 19:51:21 PST 2019

Vision2020 Post: Ted Moffett
Australia weather: January was hottest month on record

   - 1 February 2019

Australia recorded its hottest month ever in January, with average
temperatures exceeding 30C (86F) for the first time.

According to the Bureau of Meteorology, the extreme heat was "unprecedented"
during the country's summer period.

At least five January days were among the 10 warmest on record, with daily
national temperature highs of 40C.

The heat has caused wildfire deaths, bushfires and a rise in hospital

Several wildlife species have also suffered, with reports of mass deaths of
wild horses, native bats and fish in drought-affected areas.

   - How they weathered the heat
   - Drought seen from the air
   - Why Australia's extreme heat might be here to stay

The new record surpasses conditions recorded in 2013, previously considered
the nation's worst heatwave.
Just how bad did it get?

A large swathe of the state of New South Wales bore the brunt of the
fortnight of extreme heat, with temperatures also soaring in parts of
Queensland, South Australia, Victoria and the Northern Territory.

   - In Tasmania, fire crews battled more than 50 bushfires fuelled by dry
   conditions and strong winds
   - Health authorities said 44 people had come in for treatment in the
   space of 24 hours
   <https://twitter.com/SAHealth/status/1088211314982346752> in South
   - Several tennis matches at the Australian Open in Melbourne were
   - The city of Adelaide broke its own records twice in the month, first
   reaching 47.7C and then 49.5C
   - More than 90 wild horses were found dead or dying
   <https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-australia-46981750> in Northern
   - Snakes have sought shelter and water in people's bathrooms, with one
   python climbing up a shower, according to a snake catcher in Queensland

How were records broken?

"We saw heatwave conditions affect large parts of the country through most
of the month," climatologist Dr Andrew Watkins said.

Records were broken for both duration and also individual daily extremes,
he said. Rainfall was also below average for most areas.

   - How 'one-third' of a bat population died in two days

Australia has increasingly endured hotter summer temperatures. Last year
Sydney experienced its hottest day since 1939
<https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-australia-42595180>, with a maximum
temperature of 47.3C.

"The warming trend which has seen Australian temperatures increase by more
than one degree in the last 100 years also contributed to the unusually
warm conditions," Dr Watkins said.
How is climate change affecting Australia?

Officials have confirmed that 2018 and 2017 were Australia's third and
fourth-hottest years on record respectively.

The Bureau's State of the Climate 2018 report said climate change had led
to an increase in extreme heat events

   - Australia's deadly relationship with heat

Even if global temperatures are contained to the Paris accord limit of a 2C
rise above pre-industrial levels, scientists believe the country is facing
a dangerous new normal <https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-australia-41493682>.

Parts of eastern Australia suffered their worst drought in recent history
<https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-australia-45043299> last year, while
of Australians fled their homes
<https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-australia-46366964> when bushfires swept
through Queensland in November.
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