Articles on Heatwave

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Heated contest: Mitchell Johnson and Steve Smith try to cool down during the Brisbane test in December 2014. AAP Image/Dave Hunt

Just not cricket – how climate change will make sport more risky

Sport is fundamental to Australia’s society, culture and economy. But how would we cope when the rising heat threatens some of our most beloved pastimes? A new report from the Climate Institute urges sports…
Queensland’s drought conditions have been worsened by persistent high temperatures. AAP Image/Dan Peled

Who’s been affected by Australia’s extreme heat? Everyone

Australia has been hit by two years of heat: 2013 was the hottest ever recorded and 2014 wasn’t far behind, taking third place. The country has also sweltered through several significant heatwaves, and…
Wind and humidity affect how easy it is to cool off in a heatwave. Big swimming pools help, too. AAP Image/Dan Peled

Bad luck, Brisbane: muggy cities will feel future heat even more

Several Australian cities, such as Adelaide and Perth, have greeted 2015 with scorching weather as summer hits its stride – the kind of conditions that leave us crying out for an air conditioner, rather…
Nationals MP George Christensen told Parliament that the hot temperatures of 1896 have been “wiped from the official record”. It’s a bit more complicated than that. AAP Image/Lukas Coch

FactCheck: was the 1896 heatwave wiped from the record?

“How could it be getting hotter … if it was really hotter 118 years ago? It’s relatively simple: the early years are simply wiped from the official record.” – Nationals MP George Christensen, House of…
When it gets hot in the city, where’s the best place to go? Alpha/Flickr

Smart urban design could save lives in future heatwaves

Heatwaves — Australia’s biggest natural killers — are getting more frequent and hotter thanks to climate change. One day cities such as Melbourne may see unprecedented heat, perhaps 48C or higher. But…
New research shows 2013 would not have been as hot without human-caused climate change. AAP Image/Tracey Nearmy

Human hands are all over Australia’s hottest ever year

2013 was Australia’s hottest year on record, but how much of that was due to human-caused climate change? Today scientists publish five research papers that reveal the extent of human influence on Australia’s…
This isn’t summer: Sydney broke the previous autumn warmth record by 10 days. AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts

‘Abnormal autumn’ shows the climate system is in a foul mood

The climate system is in a foul mood. From “angry summer” to “abnormal autumn” – we’re running out of words to describe the relentless extreme weather that Australia is experiencing as global temperatures…
Heat relief: on hot days, flying foxes - like this grey-headed flying fox - dip their bellies into water to cool down. Nick Edards

Killer climate: tens of thousands of flying foxes dead in a day

This summer we have seen one of the most dramatic animal die-offs ever recorded in Australia: at least 45,500 flying foxes dead on just one extremely hot day in southeast Queensland, according to our new…
Bathers on Melbourne’s St Kilda beach on 28 January this year, as temperatures hit 39°C. AAP

Climate Council: heatwaves are getting hotter and more frequent

Heatwaves are one of the most important climate-related risks for Australians. Sometimes called the “silent killers”, they cause the greatest number of deaths of any natural disaster type in Australia…
A spike in suicides linked to spikes in heat. www.shutterstock.com

Heatwaves linked to an increase in Australian suicide rates

Heatwaves and high temperatures can have a dramatic impact on people’s physical health. We only have to look at the increases in emergency department admissions during recent heatwaves to know that. But…
Heat represents a classic public health issue requiring committed government action to prevent deaths. Flickr/kittykatfish

How can we avoid future ‘epidemics’ of heat deaths?

Heatwaves are returning to southern parts of Australia. Temperatures in Hobart reached 38.7C on Monday, Adelaide has another run of 40C-plus days looming, and Melbourne is facing a weekend high of 41C…
Australian Open staff and volunteers also suffered in the heatwave. AAP

Mad dogs and tennis players go out in the midday sun

On days when the Victorian Health Department issued Heat Health Alerts warning the extreme hot weather substantially increased the risk of heat-related illness and mortality, and outside work on Victorian…
Shifting hemispheres? A good training plan must include time to acclimatise. Vox Efx

Athletes can beat the heat, even during an Australian summer

Two of Australia’s biggest international sporting events kicked off last week – the Australian Open in Melbourne and the Tour Down Under in Adelaide – coinciding with a heatwave over southeast Australia…
The physiological stress of the heat accumulates and takes its toll after two or three days. AAP Image/Joe Castro

Death in a hot climate: southern heatwave to take its toll

Hopefully the southern Australian heatwave is coming to an end – for now. But for health-care providers and death investigators, such as me, the fallout will continue for some time to come. It’s unclear…
Heatwaves are set to become the norm – better get used to them. AAP/Joe Castro

With more heatwaves to come, how will our cities hold up?

Australia’s south east is currently sweltering under an intense heatwave, one that is likely to become the second longest heatwave on record in the region. So what have we learnt from the heatwave of 2009…

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