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  1. #1
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    Australia set to see hottest day ever with 50C forecast

    'Like a furnace': Australia set to see hottest day ever with 50C forecast as devastating bushfires rage
    by Harry Cockburn, The Independent
    Dec 16, 2019

    A "once in a lifetime" heatwave is set to sweep across Australia over the coming days, making almost the entire country "like a furnace" with temperatures on course to break records.

    Highs of over 50C are expected, with meteorologists warning the heat could break the country's existing record of 50.7C measured at Oodnadatta, South Australia, in 1960.

    The Australian Bureau of Meteorology has said people in the south can expect back-to-back days of 49 and 50 degrees in some remote regions for Wednesday and Thursday.

    The soaring temperatures, coupled with a weeks-long bushfire crisis, have already led to some extraordinary stories of bravery, including a 12-year-old boy who escaped with his dog by driving away from the blaze in his family's pick-up truck.

    The bureau has weather warnings in place for almost the entire country, with fire warnings issued in Western Australia, New South Wales, South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory.

    Diana Eadie, a bureau forecaster, told the Sydney Morning Herald a weak pressure pattern had allowed heat to build, while the late arrival of the monsoon over northern Australia had contributed to the build-up of the "very warm air mass" that would start to move south.

    Dr Adam Morgan, a forecaster at the bureau said high temperatures were already marking the beginning of "an exceptional week that's likely to break numerous December and all-time temperature records across the country. They may even approach or exceed Australia's warmest day on record, which currently stands at a nationwide average maximum of 40.3C, set on 17 January 2013."

    The warnings come as parts of Australia are being scorched by enormous bushfires that have already destroyed hundreds of homes.

    A bushfire on Gospers Mountain, northwest of Sydney, which has spread to cover more than 400,000 hectares, has been upgraded to an "emergency" situation.

    There are also numerous smaller fires burning in the vicinity, all of which have created a "public health emergency" in Sydney, Australia's most populous city, where air pollution has reached levels as much as 11 times higher than the threshold to be classified as "hazardous".

    In Western Australia, firefighters are battling three major bushfires burning an area of more than 20,000 hectares. Two of the fires are threatening lives and homes.

    And worse fires are expected as the heat and wind pick up later in the week.


    Since September, six people have died in a bushfire crisis that has engulfed the east of the country (Reuters)

    "We're expecting heatwave conditions to be increasing through the week," Tom Boeck, a senior forecaster at the Bureau of Meteorology​, told the ABC.

    "With that, there will obviously be increasing fire danger … probably peaking towards the later part of the week with winds also increasing and that'll be ahead of a change."

    The country's prime minister has been accused of "deafening silence" over the issue of climate change, over which Australia has a conspicuously poor record, and which scientists have said has contributed to the likelihood and severity of heatwaves around the world.

    According to the ABC, when pressed on the subject, Mr Morrison and his office have repeatedly pointed to a comment he made on 21 November when he said in an interview: "I mean, in February, I acknowledged the contribution of those factors to what was happening in Australia, amongst many other issues."

    In the last 100 years, heatwaves have killed more people in Australia than bushfires, earthquakes, floods and severe storms combined, news.com.au notes.

    Last year was the hottest on record for most of the states in the country, with major heatwaves in December and January.

    Blistering heat is not unusual during summers in the west of the country but this season has escalated much earlier than usual.

    Heatwaves are now becoming more common, getting hotter and lasting longer. Scientists have said Australia could be facing a "dangerous new normal", and residents in affected areas are calling for a new approach from authorities.

  2. #2
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    Re: Australia set to see hottest day ever with 50C forecast

    Australia weather: 50C temperatures could become the norm as hundreds of climate records broken in 90 days, report finds
    by Andy Gregory, The Independent
    Dec 3, 2019

    Hundreds of climate records were broken in just 90 days in Australia as temperatures soared and rainfall dried up, according to a new report.

    The findings are detailed in a report by the Climate Council of Australia (CCA), which says climate change is “supercharging extreme weather events, putting Australian lives, our economy and our environment at risk”.

    By 2040, researchers warn, temperatures of 50C could become commonplace in Sydney and Melbourne unless global warming is limited to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels – the most ambitious target set under the Paris Agreement.

    The UN’s landmark IPCC report warned humanity now has less than 12 years to achieve this aim, which cannot occur without “unprecedented” change.

    The hottest temperature on record for Melbourne is 46.4C, logged in February 2009.

    While the CCA report found 206 climate records were broken last summer – including record-high temperatures and record-low rainfall – it says that “the summer of 2019-20 is shaping up as another terrible trifecta of heatwaves, droughts and bushfires”.

    Temperatures have already soared to a record 40C this spring, sparking deadly bushfires in New South Wales and south Queensland that killed at least six people and up to 1,000 koalas, which are vulnerable to extinction.

    Fire season is starting earlier and lasting longer, according to the report, with bushfires seen as early as August this year.

    “Climate change is supercharging the extreme weather events we are witnessing,” said the report’s author, Professor Will Steffen.

    “We have seen temperature records smashed, bushfires in winter and a prolonged drought. Climate change is influencing all of these things.”

    Eastern Australia is currently plagued by drought, said the Climate Council’s chief executive, Amanda McKenzie, with no significant rain in sight to dampen its impact on rural and regional communities, farming, water supplies and the natural environment.

    It is the third year in a row that crops have been threatened by drought, with national summer crop production forecast to fall by 20 per cent to 2.1 million tonnes.

    “These heatwaves can have severe effects on human health, including both direct heat illnesses such as heat exhaustion and indirect illnesses such as cardiovascular failure,” said Ms McKenzie.

    Echoing a message from UN director general Antonio Guterres on Monday ahead of the UN’s climate change conference (COP25) in Madrid, in which he berated world leaders for their inaction on climate change, the report attacks a decade of “rancorous and divisive politics”.

    “Nowhere is this tension between the need for urgent action and ideologically driven​ denial and inaction more evident than in Australia,” Professor Steffen writes.

    “At the end of the ‘critical decade’, and after a decade of rancorous and divisive federal politics, we have no credible pathway for reducing emissions in our economy over the next two-three decades. In short, there is no leadership, no national plan, no vision, and no coherent policies.”

    But referencing the country’s large-scale transition to renewable energy, and adoption of a target to achieve net-zero emissions by 2045 in the capital region, the report concludes that urgent action is now needed to avoid some of the more potent effects of climate change.

    “Fortunately, there are many Australians working at the sub-national level who are showing that ‘the impossible’ is not only achievable, it is also desirable and is happening much faster than many thought possible,” it states.

  3. #3
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    Re: Australia set to see hottest day ever with 50C forecast

    This is pretty scary stuff. Here in Canada, we start to see deaths among vulnerable people (the very young, the old, people with compromised respiratory systems or other medical conditions) when the temperatures get into the 30s and the humidex readings are 35+.

    I cannot even imagine raw temperatures in the 40-50 range, with or without humidity, forest fires, and other air pollutants.

    How are you holding up, @gooblax?

  4. #4
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    Re: Australia set to see hottest day ever with 50C forecast

    I haven't been in weather that hot either, but I remember it being so hot in Phoenix once that it was warm inside my car even with the A/C on for 20 minutes.

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    Re: Australia set to see hottest day ever with 50C forecast

    Australia heat wave: Country poised to shatter all-time temperature records during one of its hottest weeks on record - The Washington Post
    December 17, 2019

    Australia may set a record for its hottest day this week, as temperatures soar past 104 degrees (40 Celsius) in most of the nation's major cities, with inland areas of Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia possibly eclipsing 122 degrees (50 Celsius). The heat wave, which is unusually severe for so early in the summer, is affecting the entirety of the continent, gradually progressing eastward from Perth to Adelaide and on toward Melbourne and Sydney by Friday.

  6. #6
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    Re: Australia set to see hottest day ever with 50C forecast

    I've been lucky so far in that it's been alright where I am. Tomorrow and Saturday are meant to be our hot days. Haven't seen too much smoke yet but it's meant to pick up today.

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    Re: Australia set to see hottest day ever with 50C forecast

    https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/wildfi...ency-1.5402008

    Firefront in New South Wales 'spreading very quickly and intensely'

    Firefighters are battling more than 100 fires, more than half of which are uncontrolled, and with temperatures forecast to top 45 C in some areas, officials warned residents to be on high alert.
    "It was particularly disappointing to see our Pacific cousins in Australia actively standing in the way of progress at a time when we have been watching in horror as their own country is ablaze," Marshall Islands president Hilda Heine said in a statement on Wednesday.

    Prime Minister Scott Morrison has also weathered a storm of criticism on social media in recent days for going on an overseas holiday during the emergency, adding to criticism that his government is failing to deliver adequate climate change policies.

  8. #8
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    Re: Australia set to see hottest day ever with 50C forecast

    I saw that some Canadian fire fighters were flying over to help with the bush fires. where is the rest of the world why are they not stepping in to help safe the lives of not only humans but animals.
    Words always stay inside ones soul

  9. #9
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    Re: Australia set to see hottest day ever with 50C forecast

    The Red Cross is there and they have set up websites for donations at least in the US.

    Along with the deaths and destruction for humans, a lot of animals have died in the fires, and there are fears that some species may be extinct by the time all this is over.

    This is a major disaster and a harbinger of others to come if people don't wake up. The climate change deniers are still out in force trying to claim this isn't unusual and the conspiracy theorists are trying to claim that these fires were started by climate change activists.

    There are so many stupid people out there. Sometimes I despair.

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