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King tides are just one of the threats faced by the people of Saibai Island in the Torres Strait, as a result of climate change. Brad Marsellos

Rising seas pose a cultural threat to Australia’s ‘forgotten people’

While you may have heard about the increasing threat that climate change and rising seas pose to Pacific islands — already forcing some communities to move — Australia has its own group of islands that…
Can social media keep you safe from disasters? Flickr/Jim

Is social media responsible for your safety during a disaster?

Given the popularity of Facebook and Twitter, it’s not surprising so many people use social media in crises such as floods, fires and earthquakes. Facebook has introduced Safety Check, a new tool for users…
Shark Bay is one of Australia’s 19 World Heritage Areas, home to dolphins, dugongs, and sharks. Matthew Fraser

Climate change threatens Western Australia’s iconic Shark Bay

In the summer of 2010-2011 Western Australia experienced an unprecedented heatwave — but not on land. Between December 2010 and April 2011, sea temperatures off the WA coast reached 3C above average, and…
In 2012 and 2013 parts of New Zealand suffered the worst drought in 70 years. Dave Young/Flickr

New Zealand is drying out, and here’s why

Over 2012 and 2013, parts of New Zealand experienced their worst drought in nearly 70 years. Drought is the costliest climate extreme in New Zealand; the 2012-2013 event depressed the country’s GDP by…
The heat is on. And referees can get it wrong. Tolga Bozoglu/EPA

Forget the players, World Cup referees are feeling the heat

There has been much hand-wringing over the problems that World Cup players are facing due to the environmental extremes they are exposed to in Brazil. There has been little sympathy for the men in black…
Australia’s weather is influenced by warm water movements in the Pacific. Flickr/Shayan USA

Explainer: El Niño and La Niña

We wait in anticipation of droughts and floods when El Niño and La Niña are forecast but what are these climatic events? The simplest way to understand El Niño and La Niña is through the sloshing around…
Koalas have embraced tree trunks as a handy cooling mechanism during summer. Ross Huggett/Flickr

Tree-hugging koalas beat the summer heat

Keeping cool during summer can be difficult, but new research published in Biology Letters shows that koalas cope with high…
A record-breaking winter heatwave - which makes pretty nice weather for a dip. DAN HIMBRECHTS/AAPIMAGE

Winter heatwaves are nice … as extreme weather events go

If you’ve stepped outside at lunchtime in Sydney over the past few days, you’d be forgiven for thinking that it was more like early summer than the beginning of winter. On each of the past 23 days, the…
We could be in for some warmer weather with an increased risk of drought and bushfires. Flickr/Len Matthews

Are we heading for a worrying Super El Niño?

We have only just moved into May and despite being seven months away from next summer in the southern hemisphere, climate researchers are seeing the beginnings of what could be the most powerful El Niño…
A Cooktown home which lost its roof to Cyclone Ita, although damage was less widespread than feared. AAP Image/Dan Peled

How building codes save homes from cyclones, and how they don’t

During Queensland’s preparations for Severe Tropical Cyclone Ita, Queensland Premier Campbell Newman advised residents who lived in older houses (those built before 1985) to evacuate their homes as they…
We know what’s in store – now it’s time to do something about it. AAP

The IPCC has spelled out the risks – now what do we do?

Despite the mounting evidence, there are still some who would deny the veracity of human-caused climate change and its potential to disrupt and harm our communities. Most dissenters rely on non-expert…
The Pasha Bulker ran aground near Newcastle in 2007 during an East Coast Low. Wikimedia Commons

Surf’s down: climate change likely to bring fewer big waves

A warmer climate is likely to result in fewer large waves along Australia’s central east coast, according to Bureau of Meteorology research that predicts a decline in the frequency of storms known as East…
The future is wet, so what are we going to do about it? Tim Ireland/PA

Dredging and drilling are both recipes for disaster

The United Kingdom stands at a crossroads. In the coming months decisions will be made that will largely determine whether the union continues in something like its current state, or whether the people…
Melbourne is facing more frequent hot days in the future. Wikimedia Commons

Spending wisely now will make heatwaves less costly later

As Melbourne labours through its second heatwave this month, it is becoming clear that these events take a heavy toll. Health, energy consumption, transport, infrastructure, agriculture and other natural…
No you can’t go back for your iPad. Dave Thompson/PA

How do you evacuate a university during a storm surge?

“Born on a perilous rock” is the title of a classic book by W J Lewis which describes Aberystwyth past and present; last weekend the town fully lived up to this description. To all intents and purposes…
Incredibly cold and very pretty, but not that enlightening when it comes to climate change. EPA/RICK WARNE

US cold wave implies nothing about global warming

The central and eastern US has just been in the midst of a major cold wave, with large regions dropping below zero F (-17.7C) and wind chills reaching below -30F (-34C). That is fact. The problem is that…
Tacloban City in the Philippines. Troclaire

2013: the year in extreme weather

It seems every year has seen weather extremes in recent times. After 2012 brought Hurricane Sandy to the east coast of the United States and the wettest year ever for England, many may have expected a…

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