Broadcast on 2CH Sydney, 13 Jan 2013.
Air temperatures in some parts of Australia hit record highs this week as an extreme heat wave swept across the continent, causing catastrophic fires and damage to property and livestock.
On Tuesday the Bureau of Meteorology released an interim special climate statement on the extreme January heat. Record temperatures, both day-time maximums and night-time minimums, continue to be broken. Temperatures have been so high that the Bureau has added a new colour at the top of the temperature scale in its maps, indicating 50 to 54 degrees Celsius.
This may well be a long-term trend, in which case we will need to get used to it, and make the necessary lifestyle changes in order to survive and thrive in an increasingly hostile environment. For some, it’s a step too far to link this to climate change, but it seems that these extreme weather events – very hot, very cold, increasing storm intensity – are becoming more frequent.
I’m Rod Benson for the NSW Council of Churches.