Australia's Weird Winter: Climate council links our weather with global warming
The Climate Council has produced a report on Australia's just ended winter, the fifth warmest for average temperatures on record and the highest winter average maximum temperatures on record, at 1.90°C above average.
The nation experienced its second driest June on record and the driest winter since 2002 .
The report, Hot and Dry: Australia's Weird Winter, finds that the exceptionally warm and dry winter was made 60 times more likely by climate change, based on computer climate modelling by climate extremes research fellow, Dr Andrew King.
“Australia’s average winter temperatures have increased by about 1°C since 1910, driven by climate change, as a direct result of burning fossil fuels – coal, oil and gas .”
“Winter warm spells are lasting longer, occurring more often and becoming more intense. The likelihood of such warm winters occurring will continue to increase as global temperatures rise. “
The report warns that the warming conditions may decrease crop and livestock productivity, increase bushfire risk and put Australia’s ageing energy system under pressure.
Drawing on outlooks provided by the Bureau of Meteorology, the report predicts that we are in for a warmer than average spring, with daytime temperatures likely to be above average in northern and southeastern Australia for September to November.