Australia heat wave: Australia at its hottest in a century at 49⁰C

January 25, 2013 3:19 PM |

The weather of Australia has been the hottest of the century as the mercury recorded the highest ever at 49.6⁰C (118⁰F) in Moomba in South Australia. The weather of Australia has continuously been like this in the New Year as most places recorded temperatures above 45⁰C. Though this is not the first time that the weather of Australia has been this hot, severe heat waves have been a regular trait of the weather in Australia but this time around it has been different because the coverage of the heat wave has been more and the affect has been persistent.

The weather of Australia often records high temperatures in the scorching summer months but this heat wave has been quite unusual as these baking temperatures have lasted for more than weeks now. The hot weather of Australia in the last two weeks surpassed the only previous analog of severe heat wave in the historical record available since 1910. Also, in the month of January, 70 percent of the continent has recorded temperatures above 42°C (107.6°F). It is not common for the Australian-average temperature to exceed 39°C for even two days in a row.

This persistent piercing weather of Australia has obviously raised concerns of weathermen across the globe. And the conclusion is a warmer globe means warmer continents and a drastic change in not just the weather of Australia but the weather of many other countries. Skymet Weather supports the worldwide analysis of the changed weather of Australia, done by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, which studies the various reasons that could have led to this severe heat wave. It includes reasons like the ocean heat content, sea surface temperatures, sea level, temperatures in the lower and middle troposphere, and the rate of melting glaciers and ice sheets. Studies further prove that the surface of the earth has warmed up by about 1⁰C during the past hundred years, and the decade from 2001 to 2010 has been the warmest. But due to natural regional variations, the globe doesn’t warm uniformly everywhere and warms immensely at some places, like it has in the case of Australia. During a January 2013 meeting of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in Tasmania, Chairman Rajendra Pachauri noted that the heat wave fits the pattern of global warming in the world: "If you look at the trend, it’s pretty unmistakable, and any proper analysis would tell you that we are heading in that direction", said Pachauri.

The unbearable heat wave of Australia has already led to a massive fire near Mount Feathertop and has burnt 1,300 hectares of land. And if the wind continues to be strong, chances of the fire spreading to other towns will become higher. Because of the hot weather of Australia a watch and act alert has already been issued to the residents of the continent. People are advised to stay indoors and if stepping out, its important that proper caution should be taken to avoid getting sick.

Jatin Singh CEO of Skymet Weather says, “Global warming is showing its effects too fast and bizarre weather is gripping the entire globe. The only way to fight is to be ‘weather wise’ globally.”

Photo by Australian Bureau of Meteorology.


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