The annual average number of days over 35 degrees Celsius in Gladstone has more than doubled since the mid-20th century. CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology project further increases, with the number of extreme heat days to triple by 2070 – and these projections appear optimistic. Extreme heat will have profound effects on human health, industries and ecosystems.
Climate & Energy Program
New Australia Institute research shows that extremely hot days (over 35 degrees) could triple in Gladstone by 2070. The number of extreme heat days in Gladstone has already increased from 2.6 days per year in the 1960s to 6.5 days per year this century.
This increase has now exceeded extreme heat projections for the year 2050 made by the CSRIO and the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM). The CSIRO-BoM projects days over 35 degrees will increase from the historic level of 2.6 per year to 19 per year by 2070 unless decisive action is taken to reduce emissions.
At temperatures above 35 degrees the human body’s ability to cool itself reduces, making it a common benchmark temperature for occupational health and safety experts, academic and government researchers. Combined with 70% humidity, conditions over 35 degrees are considered ‘extremely dangerous’ by government agencies such as the US Government National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
The number of days over 35 degrees has nearly doubled in Rockhampton over recent years, and is forecast to triple again in the absence of strong policy response to climate change, according to new research from The Australia Institute.
The Australia Institute’s Heat Watch initiative shows Rockhampton is expected to endure 29 days over 35 degrees per year by 2030, and as many as 70 days per year by 2070. Almost 50 percent of summer days are projected to reach over 35 degrees by 2070.
“The increase in these extreme heat due to climate change will have a devastating impact on the region,” says Mark Ogge, Principal Advisor at The Australia Institute and author of the report.
The Australia Institute commissioned ReachTEL to poll the federal seat of Hume (690 respondents) on the evening of 10 September.
Over 50 scientists and experts, including former Australian of the Year Professor Fiona Stanley AC, Carmen Lawrence, former Premier of WA, Professor Peter Newman AO, WA’s 2018 Scientist of the Year, and Ian Dunlop, former Chairman of the Australian Coal Association and Shell executive, are urging the Western Australian Government to permanently ban fracking in the state.
The call comes in an open letter ahead of the release of the final report by the Western Australia Independent Scientific Panel Inquiry into Hydraulic Fracture Stimulation.
Full text of open letter and list of signatories below.
Dear Premier and Ministers of the Government of Western Australia --
Unconventional oil and gas development in Western Australia should not go ahead under any circumstances.
The consequences of global warming are already extremely serious; including loss of human life, extreme weather, destruction of natural ecosystems and property damage.
Welcome to the September 2018 issue of the NEEA Electricity Update, with data updated to the end of August 2018.
The Electricity Update is the companion publication to the quarterly National Energy Emissions Audit Report, the next issue which is being published alongside the Electricity Update. The Electricity Update presents data on electricity demand, electricity supply, and electricity generation emissions in the National Electricity Market (NEM), plus electricity demand in the South West Interconnected System (SWIS).
The Australia Institute’s Climate and Energy Program has released the latest National Energy Emissions Audit electricity update (The Audit*) for September 2018.
The Audit shows the new surge of renewable generation coming online are the only thing currently helping reduce energy prices - with renewables now making up a record breaking 19.7% of the National Energy Market (NEM).
The number of Australians concerned about climate change has reached a five-year high, increasing to 73% (up from 66% in 2017) according to a new benchmark report released today.
The annual Climate of the Nation report has tracked Australian attitudes on climate change for over a decade. This is the first Climate of the Nation report produced by The Australia Institute, after being produced for a decade by the Climate Institute.
The 2018 Climate of the Nation report, to be launched by former Liberal Party Leader John Hewson, shows that: