Record breaking heatwaves, a deepening health crises and worsening bushfires across the country are the ‘new normal’ warns a new report from the Climate Council.
The new Weather Gone Wild report concludes that climate change is increasing the frequency, severity of extreme weather events, and that Australian’s are suffering as a result.
The Council’s CEO, Amanda McKenzie, accused the Federal Government of obstructionism in dealing with the worsening impacts of climate change.
“The Coalition Government has been in power for five years and it has obstructed action on climate change while extreme weather worsens. It’s unconscionable,” Ms McKenzie said.
The reports key findings include:
The past four years have been the four hottest on record for global surface temperature, continuing a long-term warming trend
All extreme weather events are being influenced by climate change, as they are occurring in an atmosphere that contains more energy than 50 years ago.
Extreme weather events are very costly, with insurance companies in Australia paying out more than $1.2 billion dollars in claims last year.
“Climate change is also leading to more intense rainfall, increasing the risk of flash flooding events, like the one we’re seeing in Townsville. Greenhouse gas pollution is warming the climate system, increasing the amount of water vapour in the atmosphere. This leads to heavier rainfall,” said the Climate Council’s Head of Research, Dr Martin Rice.
“The Federal Government’s current climate policy is an abject failure, with greenhouse gas pollution increasing over the past four years. Tackling climate change effectively requires a credible national policy to drive down pollution across all sectors,” said Dr Rice.
“We have the solutions at our disposal but there’s only a tiny window of opportunity left to tackle climate change,” he said.