The Australian capital cities of Adelaide, Melbourne and
Canberra are already experiencing the hot weather conditions
predicted for them for 2030, a report on heatwaves says.
The alarming revelation comes from a report released by The
Climate Council which wants significant reductions in
greenhouse gas emissions to limit further increases in
Its report, Heatwaves, Hotter, Longer, More Often, shows that
over the decade of 2000-2009 the number of days above 35C has
already reached the levels previously projected for 2030 in
these three capital cities.
The report predicts that northern and southern Australia's
current one-in-20 year extreme hot days are expected to occur
every two to five years by the middle of the century.
Climate Council member Professor Tim Flannery says the report
shows heatwaves are hotter, longer, more frequent and
occurring earlier in the season.
They are also killing people and can be described as one of
Australia's most dangerous natural hazards. Over the past 100
years heatwaves have caused more deaths than any other
Without action on greenhouse gas emissions they could cause
an additional 6214 deaths by 2050 in Victoria alone, the
Its other wide ranging consequences include extending
bushfire seasons, impacts on public transport, electricity
services, wildlife and Australia's coral reefs.
"A CSIRO study released just last week detailed coral
bleaching due to a heatwave in Western Australia," Prof
The report says that limiting further increases in heatwaves
can only be done by urgent and significant reduction in the
emission of greenhouse gases.
"This is a critical decade if we want to prevent heatwaves
getting even worse," Prof Flannery said.