Farmers, homeowners and elderly suffer as climate change brings year of bushfires, drought and heatwaves

06.01.16 By

AUSTRALIA has recorded its fifth-warmest year on record in 2015 in a year that also brought unseasonably early heatwaves and bushfires and devastating drought.

The Bureau of Metereology Annual Climate Statement found the national mean temperature was 0.83°C above average as the influence of climate change and powerful El Nino sealed an extra-warm end to the year.

Statistics released later this month are expected to confirm that 2015 was the hottest year on record globally.

The statement also confirmed:

The Climate Council’s Professor Will Steffen said research had shown that Australia’s record-hot October was much less likely to occur without the influence of climate change.

“Behind the overwhelming amount of data that show our climate is changing, we also have people all over Australia already suffering as climate change continues to worsen many extreme weather events,” he said, “

“We have farmers struggling through drought and losing crops due to unseasonably early warm spells, we have people losing their homes to bushfires and the elderly and the vulnerable suffering through more frequent, severe and intense heatwaves.

“All of these extreme events underscore why it’s so important to act with urgency to stabilise the climate. The Paris agreement has given the Australian Government a clear framework for what needs to be done and we must get on with the job of rapidly transitioning to a zero-emissions economy.”

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