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Analysis and Comment (18)

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…
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…
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…
The Barossa in January: not always ideal cycling conditions. AAP/Dan Peled

It’s time for Australia to change its attitude to extreme heat

Complacency can kill. You would have to be living under a rock to be unaware that heat exposure can be deadly. Yet every year Australia – supposedly the “clever country” – endangers the lives of everyone…
Tennis fans cool off at the Australian Open in Melbourne this week. AAP Image/Joe Castro

How heat can make your body melt down from the inside out

Just as Ray Bradbury’s novel Fahrenheit 451 identified a temperature at which paper self-combusts, the Australian Open has just shown the world that there is a temperature at which tennis players start…
Monday’s heatwave forecast - with even worse heat predicted for the south-east this week. http://www.bom.gov.au/australia/heatwave/

What’s cranking up the heat across south-eastern Australia?

Across south-eastern Australia this morning, people are waking up to forecasts of scorching heat for the week ahead. Players and spectators heading to the Australian Open should prepare for some baking…
It’s getting hot in here: temperatures soar across inland and eastern Australia around 2pm today. http://www.bom.gov.au/australia/meteye/

It’s a scorcher: new site tracks heatwaves across Australia

As much of inland and eastern Australia sweats through its first heatwave of the summer, a new interactive website has been launched to track where the heat is coming from and to map past heatwaves across…
The numbers are in: human-generated emissions increased the odds of our record-breaking summer. Lazellion/Flickr

The human role in our ‘angry’ hot summer

Today we released a study that shows quantitatively that anthropogenic climate change substantially increased the likelihood of the record-breaking Australian summer of 2013. Indeed, human influences on…
Heat, floods and fire: it’s not just weather. timswinson.com

Angry summer shaped by a shifting climate

The hottest summer on record. The hottest month on record. The hottest day ever recorded for the whole of Australia. Heatwaves, bushfires, record rainfall and floods – extreme events across the land. This…
Another summer, not quite like the other summers. Steve Lacy

Floods, fires and lots of heat: summing up summer 2012-13

We all know what to expect from summer in Australia. From December through March it will be hot, there will be storms and floods, and there will be bush fires. It’s been like that for as long as history…
Australia’s latest summer has been significant for weather and for climate. VIBE Audio

Hot summer? Yes: the hottest

This summer hasn’t just felt hot. It’s been hot. In fact, the summer of 2012-13 is now the hottest on record. Average temperatures beat the record set in the summer of 1997-98, and daytime maximum temperatures…
Our impact on the earth has brought on a new geographical epoch – The Age of Humans. AAP/Damien Shaw

Climate change signals the end of the social sciences

In response to the heatwave that set a new Australia-wide record on 7 January, when the national average maximum reached 40.33°C, the Bureau of Meteorology issued a statement that, on reflection, sounds…
Australia has always had heat waves, but the current one is far from typical. Daniel Alexander Head

What’s causing Australia’s heat wave?

Australia has started 2013 with a record-breaking heat wave that has lasted more than two weeks across many parts of the country. Temperatures have regularly gone above 48°C, with the highest recorded…
The 2003 European heat wave caused 80,000 deaths at temperatures Australians usually experience in a regular summer. AAP

Could we acclimatise to the hotter summers to come?

Acclimatising to heat is a tough gig. Since 1970, central Australian regions have warmed 1.2ᵒC and as the world continues to get warmer, increasingly common and increasingly intense heat waves will make…
More and longer heat waves are coming, so researchers are making sure our crops are ready. Amy Mergard

Can crops withstand more heat waves?

Australia broke its “hottest day” record this week, and heat waves are becoming more common in Australia. Heat waves are projected to increase in duration and intensity with global warming and climate…
Environmental heat disturbs the delicate balance between sleep and body temperature. Steven Mileham

Too hot to sleep? Here’s why

Bushfires are quite appropriately dominating our nation’s concerns during the current Australian heatwave. But for many, the struggle to sleep through soaring temperatures is a personal inferno that dominates…
Preparation is key to surviving extremely hot weather. Misswired/Flickr

Strategies for coping with extremely hot weather

Exposure to extreme heat can cause illness and even death for some people. But there are several small steps you can take to protect yourself and your loved ones. We need to keep our body temperature in…

Research and News (3)

Research Briefs (3)