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If Jay Weatherill is returned as the premier of South Australia in 2018, he promises to once again butt heads with Malcolm Turnbull over energy policy. Morgan Sette/AAP

Climate politics in 2018: another guide for the perplexed

Last year was a vicious one for climate and energy politics. And with a South Australian election and various other federal decisions in the offing, 2018 looks like being similarly rancorous.
Australia veered from very wet to very dry in a year of wide-ranging weather extremes. AAP Image/Mal Fairclough

Australia’s climate in 2017: a warm year, with a wet start and finish

Last year saw plenty of warm weather around the country, but other notable events included dry months in the southeast, some very cold winter nights, and record-warm dry season days in the north.
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.
Nowhere to hide? With 2℃ of global warming, the stifling heat of January 2013 would be the norm for Australia. AAP Image/Dean Lewins

Why 2℃ of global warming is much worse for Australia than 1.5℃

Global warming of 2℃, the higher of the two Paris targets, would see current record-breaking temperatures become the norm in the future, potentially bringing heatwaves to both land and sea.
Sydney’s summer was the hottest on record. AAP Image/Dean Lewins

Climate change’s signature was writ large on Australia’s crazy summer of 2017

New South Wales has just had its hottest summer on record – an event that was made 50 times more likely by humans' impact on the climate.

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