Articles on heatwaves

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A ‘stuck’ monsoonal system dumped a year’s worth of rainfall on Townsville in just a week. AAP Image/Dave Acree

How climate change can make catastrophic weather systems linger for longer

What do the recent Townsville floods and Tasmanian heatwave have in common? Both were caused by weather systems that stayed put for days or weeks on end. And global warming could worsen that trend.
Lochiel Park in Adelaide was Australia’s first large-scale attempt to create homes that use near net zero energy. Stephen Berry

When the heat hits: how to make our homes comfortable without cranking up the aircon

Air conditioning changed both building design and people's active management of home temperatures. A return to houses designed for our climate can keep us comfortable and cut energy use and emissions.
In most states where temperatures are increasing, Australians are at a higher risk of suicide. Ellen Smith

Heatwaves threaten Australians’ health, and our politicians aren’t doing enough about it

Pollutants from fossil fuel combustion cause thousands of premature deaths nationwide every year. This is just one way our climate change policies impact on the nation's health.
A hot summer will mean wetlands dry out faster than ever, so how will pest mosquitoes respond? Cameron Webb (NSW Health Pathology)

Will the arrival of El Niño mean fewer mosquitoes this summer?

The forecast arrival of El Niño may mean the east coast of Australia will experience an exceptionally hot and dry summer, but does this mean there will be fewer mosquitoes buzzing about?
A woman cools down in a water fountain as she beats the heat in Montreal on Monday, July 2, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

Climate change can be deadly if you live alone

Heatwave deaths this summer make it clear: climate change is a severe public health threat, and those who live alone are at greatest risk.
‘Soft fall’ surfaces are widely used in play areas where children might fall, but can also get very hot in the sun, which undermines this safety benefit. Brisbane City Council/Flickr

Materials that make heat worse for our kids demand a rethink by designers

Commonly used surfaces in play areas, such as "soft fall" materials and Astroturf, can heat up to 80-100°C in the sun. This makes them a hazardous design choice, especially as the climate gets hotter.
Extreme temperatures in Cordoba, Spain in June 2017. EPA/SALAS

Why hot weather records continue to tumble worldwide

In an unchanging climate, we would expect record-breaking temperatures to get rarer as the observation record grows longer. But in the real world the opposite is true - because we are driving up temperatures.
Soaring heating costs mean many vulnerable Australians endure cold houses and the associated risks to their health. Paul Vasarhelyi from www.shutterstock.com

Forget heatwaves, our cold houses are much more likely to kill us

The idea of a hot and sunny land is so baked into our thinking about Australia that we've failed to design and build houses that protect us from the cold.

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