Monday, February 7, 2011

No Mate, She WON'T Be Right: facing up to the climate crisis

Australia's Warmest Decade on record.
Eastern Australia's Wettest Year on record.
Northern Australia's Wettest "Dry Season" on record.
South Western Australia's driest year on record.
Australia's Wettest Year since 2000 (3rd wettest on record)

As Australia comes up for air after an unprecedeted series of natural disasters, the Bureau of Meteorology's Annual Australian Climate Statement has offered some salient statistics on our changing climate.

It's not the national picture that has me gasping for air, but the extremes experienced across vast tracts of country. Pictorial representations in the report illustrate the climate crisis we appear unwilling and therefore ill-equipped to challenge. Take a look.

Australia's south-west has recorded its lowest rainfall on record at 392mm, well below its previous record low of 439mm in 1940.You can do the percentages on that one. While Northern Australia's "dry season" (May - October) has been the wettest on record with 190mm eclipsing the previous record of 176mm in 1978.  The Murray Darling Basin, notorious for its legendary dryness, has suddenly recorded its wettest year on record.

Nationally Australia has recorded its warmest decade. 2010 was the third wettest year since records began in 1900, and the wettest since 2000. The Bureau of Meteorology  explains that "this underscores that the warming of Australia's climate continues, even though individual years may be cooler than other years".

Suddenly "she'll be right mate" sounds more irresponsible and lazy, than endearingly laid-back.

More on this subject from a global perspective:
Skeptical Science - 2010: Record Warmth and Weird Weather
Grist: Crazy Storms highlight the crazy climate mess we're in

You may also be interested in Wearing Bamboo: Slip, slop, slap with an environmental plus

1 comment: