The Critical Decade

With the Winter Olympics and its motto of “faster, higher, stronger” still fresh in our memories, record breaking is imbued as an ideal to be strived for. However, when it comes to the environment, the sheer number of records which are being consistently being broken is worrying. A recent report by the Climate Council entitled “The Angry Summer” explains the ways in which 156 records were broken around Australia over 90 days during the 2013/14 summer.

Some of the records which were broken included:

  • Record high maximum temperatures experienced in over 8.8% of Australia during the first four days of January.
  • Adelaide experienced 5 consecutive days over 42°C, with an overall 13 days above 40°C. The average amount of 40+°C per summer is only two.
  • Eight of the hottest summers on record in Australia have occurred in the past 15 years.

 

While Australia has a history of extreme weather events, climate change is increasing their intensity and frequency. For example, while bushfires are a natural feature of the Australian bush, due to the escalating intensity and frequency of heatwaves, their occurrence is mounting. Due to their concentration around populated areas, the cost of damages is significant. Another manifestation of this is seen in extreme rainfall patterns. Northeastern NSW, southeastern Queensland, Sydney and small areas of Victoria, southwest Western Australia and Tasmania have all suffered serious rainfall shortages. In contrast, Northern Queensland, north and west of the Northern Territory, much of Western Australia and along the coast of Southern Australia, have experienced well above average records of rain. While it is oversimplified to state that these events are directly caused by climate change with a whole host of other factors contributing, climate change has undoubtedly exacerbated these naturally occurring events.

 

While these findings reflect the weather patterns of the past summer, the trends are not new. Australia has consistently been experiencing more aggressive and articulated weather patterns with dire consequences for the community at large. The report therefore concluded by urging substantial reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. With arguments as to whether we have reached the climatic tipping point or not continue, what is clear is that this is the critical decade. Radical action needs to be taken across all levels – this is not the select responsibility of a few but instead we have a collective burden of responsibility to protect our planet and limit the influence of extreme weather events for generations to come.

NSW

A.D. Envirotech Australia Pty Ltd – Head Office
Unit 6/7 Millennium Ct.,
Silverwater, NSW, 2128, Australia
(02) 8541 7214
info@adenvirotech.com.au

A.D. Envirotech Australia Pty Ltd – Laboratory
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Silverwater, NSW, 2128, Australia
(02) 9648 6669

QLD

A. D. Envirotech Australia Pty Ltd (ADE)
PO Box 288
Upper Coomera LPO,
QLD, 4209 Australia
(07) 5519 4610
info@adenvirotech.com.au

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