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posted on:
January
16
2014

Heatwaves more frequent, hotter and longer: Climate Council

 

 


Heatwaves in Australia are becoming more frequent, hotter and are lasting longer because of climate change, a report released today by the Climate Council says.


The interim findings of the report, titled Australian Heatwaves: Hotter, Longer, Earlier and More Often, come as southern Australia swelters through a heatwave, with the temperature in Adelaide today forecast to hit 46 degrees Celsius.


The report says heat records are now happening three times more often than cold records, and that the number of hot days across Australia has "more than doubled".


It says the duration and frequency of heatwaves increased between 1971 and 2008, and the hottest days have become hotter.


And it predicts that future heatwaves will last up to three days longer on average, they will happen more often, and the highest temperatures will rise further.


"It is clear that climate change is making heatwaves more frequent and severe," report co-author Professor Will Steffen said in a statement.



For the first time, the Bureau of Meteorology has provided a national definition of a heatwave.

It says there are three grades of heatwave, with severe and extreme posing the most serious risk.

Read more here.