.
  • Written by Michael Courts, Editor, The Conversation
image

In relation to this article responding to Climate Council CEO Amanda McKenzie’s claim that heatwaves are “worsening” and “hot days” have doubled in Australia in the last 50 years, a spokesperson for the Climate Council gave the following responses. Questions from The Conversation are in bold.

Could you please provide a source, or sources, to support Ms McKenzie’s statement that heatwaves are “worsening” and hot days have doubled in the last 50 years?

Climate change is making hot days and heatwaves more frequent and more severe. Since 1950 the annual number of record hot days across Australia has more than doubled and the mean temperature has increased by about 1°C from 1910.

Specifically, there has been an increase of 0.2 days/year since 1957 which means, on average, that there are almost 12 more days per year over 35°C.

What did Ms McKenzie mean by the terms “heatwaves” and “hot days”?

Hot days – the number of hot days, defined as days with maximum temperatures greater than 35°C.

Heatwaves – three days or more of high maximum and minimum temperatures that is unusual for that location.

Furthermore, heatwaves have several significant characteristics. These include (i) frequency characteristics, such as the number of heatwave days and the annual number of summer heatwave events; (ii) duration characteristics, such as the length of the longest heatwave in a season; (iii) intensity characteristics, such as the average excess temperature expected during a heatwave and the hottest day of a heatwave; and (iv) timing characteristics, including the occurrence of the first heatwave event in a season.

Is there any other comment you would like us to include in the article?

Climate change – driven largely by rising atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations from the burning of coal, oil and gas – is increasing temperatures and cranking up the intensity of extreme weather events globally and in Australia.

The accumulating energy in the atmosphere is affecting all extreme weather events. Climate change is driving global warming at a rate 170 times faster than the baseline rate over the past 7,000 years.

Temperature records tumbled yet again during Australia’s ‘Angry Summer’ of 2016/17. In just 90 days, more than 205 records were broken around Australia.

Heatwaves and hot days scorched the major population centres of Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne and Sydney, as well as the rural and regional heartlands of eastern Australia. The most severe heatwave of this Angry Summer began around January 31 and continued until February 12, with the highest temperatures recorded from February 9-12.

This heatwave was made twice as likely to occur because of climate change, while the extreme heat in New South Wales over the entire summer season was at least 50 times as likely to occur because of climate change.

The severe heatwave of February 2017 that spread across much of Australia’s south, east and interior caused issues for the South Australian and New South Wales energy systems. In New South Wales around 3,000MW of coal and gas capacity was not available when needed in the heatwave (roughly the equivalent of two Hazelwood Power Stations).

In South Australia, 40,000 people were left without power for about half an hour in the early evening while temperatures were over 40°C. This heatwave highlights the vulnerability of our energy systems to extreme weather.

Read the article here.

Authors: Michael Courts, Editor, The Conversation

Read more http://theconversation.com/full-response-from-the-climate-council-for-an-article-on-heatwaves-and-hot-days-in-australia-79415

Virgin Australia adds 'carrier charge' fee to Velocity reward bookings

Enjoy up to 120,000 bonus Qantas or Altitude Points when you apply for the two-card bundle, are approved and meet the minimum spend of $3k for each card - Westpac Altitude Black Mastercard and the Ame...

Australia vs Pakistan 2018 cricket live: Shaun Marsh falls early as Aussies face monster target

Babar Azam just missed a maiden Test century but Pakistan gave themselves more than two days to win the short series against Australia, and made a good start, AP reports. Azam fell for a career-best 9...

Australia Post CEO: It is time to redefine marketing

When Australia Post's chief executive Christine Holgate appointed former News Corp chief digital officer Nicole Sheffield in June to lead the customer experience overhaul across 4500 post offices, cus...

Proposed international rugby league shake-up could see Australia relegated to 2nd tier

INTERNATIONAL rugby league is set for a shake-up with Australia, New Zealand and Tonga on the verge of taking part in a historic tri-nation series which would see the last-placed country relegated to ...

This has been voted the best pizzeria in Australia

PIZZA is often a divisive topic. Is it best eaten hot or cold? Should you use your hands or cutlery? Is pineapple allowed? What about anchovies? But there’s one thing on which pizza-loving trave...

family as 'brand' – the rise of the digital mumpreneur

“Taylen has become a brand,” says Angelica Calad, the mumpreneur behind the #influencer account #taylensmom. Taylen Biggs, age five, has more than 150,000 followers. In an era of advertisi...

the bacteria that live in and on us

Hand washing is an effective way to help prevent the spread of bacteria.rawpixel/unsplashBacteria are everywhere, including in and on our bodies. There are estimated to be as many bacteria in a human ...

The Morrison government's biggest economic problem? Climate change denial

The government's stubborn commitment to coal is alienating it from its natural supporters in the business community.Wes Mountain/The Conversation, CC BY-NDLast week Peter Costello accused Malcolm Turn...

Politics

George Neophytou - Don’t be taken for granted

George Neophytou George Neophytou, independent candidate for Gippsland East is concerned our electorate is being taken for granted. For too long Gippsland East has been the electorate that Labor...

Prime Minister's media conference at Glenelg

DOORSTOP WITH PREMIER OF SOUTH AUSTRALIA HON STEVEN MARSHALL MP, MINISTER FOR DEFENCE, THE HON CHRISTOPHER PYNE MP AND NICOLLE FLINT MP, MEMBER FOR BOOTHBY GLENELG, SA SUNDAY 14 OCTOBER 2018 SUBJEC...

Canavan calls out Shorten’s resources schtick

Resources Minister Matt Canavan has called on Labor to state one clear position – just one, not two or three - on the future of Australia’s thermal coal industry.   Following a string of confused ...

Business News

How to Improve the Work Environment for Employees

As an employer, there are many things it takes to hold a business together. As well as ensuring you market it and keep a steady stream of income, managing your employees effectively is also critical...

Guiding you Safely with AustralianCasinoClub

If you’re hunting for the very best advice on the Australian casino industry, we have found an interesting and informative site for you to visit called AustralianCasinoClub. In this guide to one of ...

Fusion Sport raises $3 million to drive global expansion

Fusion Sport, a global leader in human performance management software, has raised more than $3 million to expand its global sales and marketing capabilities.   The funding round was led by Sydney...

Travel

The Best Moment of Your Life from Lonely Planet

Discover 100 Life-Changing Travel Experiences with The Best Moment of Your Life from Lonely Planet What’s the best moment of your life? It’s a simple question to ask, but a more challenging one t...

Travel expert Anthony Goldman outlines what's trending for elite travellers

LOVERS OF LUXE DRIVING TRAVEL TRENDS   Travel expert Anthony Goldman outlines what’s trending for elite travellers in 2019 and beyond…   Media Release – 15 October 2018 - Travellers are splurgin...

End of year travel can deliver big benefits if booked on certain credit cards

With more than 56% percent of the Australian population now owning a passport, it is no surprise the Australia Government recorded over nine million trips overseas at 2017 financial year end.   A wh...