Reading the climate Council latest report on the Angry Summer 2013/2014 (PDF) I was struck by the extent and rapidity of the changes in temperature we are seeing now.
Welcome to the new normal with stinking hot summers, as heatwaves hover over and amplify the urban heat island effect in cities like Melbourne bringing the heat from central Australia. Most of Victoria is feeling the heat, which has come despite ENSO being in a neutral phase. So far the State Government lead by Premier Denis Napthine has made only Token efforts in managing heatwaves despite predictions by climate scientists that heatwaves increasing faster than average temperatures and becoming more frequent and intense. At least my local council, the City of Moreland is taking heatwaves seriously investigating what it can do and calling for greater heatwave emergency planning by the state government.
Professor David Karoly and Post-doctoral researcher Sophie lewis have been undertaking analysis on the temperature record for Australia in 2013. Their article published at The Conversation - Australia’s hottest year was no freak event: humans caused it - is an attribution of risk study of the extreme Australian heat in 2013 involving statistical probability analysis.
With substantial heat in the continental centre, the first days of 2014 saw temperatures climb towards 50C in western Queensland, western NSW, South Australia and parts of Western Australia and the Northern Territory.
A new scientific study finds that Sydney faces hotter temperatures due to the interaction of expanding urbanization, climate change and the urban heat island effect
Related: Heatwaves exacerbate and amplify urban heat island effect on cities | Global Warming to exacerbate Heat related deaths | Climate change to increase heat stress, reduce work capacity | Scientists outline health limits of heat stress with Climate Change
Monday was the 8th consecutive day of above 30C heat with a forecast of at least two more days of temperatures in the mid 30s. That will make 10 continuous days before a cool change is expected late on Wednesday brings down temperatures to a milder high 20s. The previous record for any month was 8 continuous days set in February 1961. For the month of March, seven consecutive days above 30C is the record set in 1995.
"We are seeing substantial global warming" declares new scientific work from an independent group of researchers called the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature Study. The research team is at least partially funded by the Koch Brothers who fund several climate denial groups. The team was setup to identify flaws in the climate science of global average temperature trends, but has confirmed the analysis undertaken by NASA, NOAA and the Hadley Climate Centre in the UK that about 1 degree Celsius of global warming has occurred since 1950.
Related Commentary: Nature Different method, same result: global warming is real | Climate Progress Hot Dog Bites Skeptical Man: Koch-Funded Berkeley Temperature Study Does “Confirm the Reality of Global Warming”