On Tuesday January 8 the Bureau of Meteorology released an interim special climate statement on the Extreme January heat Australia is currently experiencing (Updated on January 14). Record temperatures both day-time maximum and night-time minimums continue to be broken as of 13 January. The extraordinary heatwave has also been the scene for catastrophic fires, especially in Tasmania.
It is a long hot summer in Perth with new temperature records being set. Perth has just broken its record for the greatest number of consecutive warm nights. The last 14 consecutive nights the temperatures has remained above 20 degrees. The previous record was 13 days in February-March 1985 and February-March 1990.
In a joint statement released on Monday by the CSIRO and Bureau of Meteorology the stark facts on global warming were outlined: that Australia's climate has already changed with more extremely hot days, fewer cold ones, wetter in the north and drier in the south-east and south-west. The statement outlined in five sections a snapshot of temperature, rainfall, oceans, atmosphere, and what this means for Australia in coming decades.
2009 is likely to be the fifth warmest year on record according to the World Meteorological Organisation, with the current decade being the warmest on record, eclipsing the 1990s, which in turn was warmer than the 1980s.
Above normal temperatures were recorded for most regions with North America experiencing conditions colder than normal in some regions. Global warming is producing more weather extremes, at greater frequency and intensity.