New Report: Dangerous Summer Ahead

02.12.19 By

A NEW CLIMATE COUNCIL report has found this summer is shaping up as a terrible trifecta of heatwaves, droughts and bushfires, made worse by climate change. “Dangerous Summer: Escalating Bushfire, Heat and Drought Risk” finds the catastrophic events unfolding across Australia are not normal.

“Climate change is supercharging the extreme weather events we are witnessing. We have seen temperature records smashed, bushfires in winter and a prolonged drought. Climate change is influencing all of these things,” said Climate Councillor and report author, Professor Will Steffen.

“It is only the beginning of summer, which means the biggest danger period may yet be to come,” he said.

Report Key Findings

The Bureau of Meteorology is forecasting above average maximum temperatures for most of Australia this summer with eastern Australia likely to be drier than average.

“Eastern Australia is currently plagued by drought, with no significant rain in sight to dampen its impact on rural and regional communities, farming, water supplies and the natural environment,” said the Climate Council’s CEO, Amanda McKenzie.

The number of heatwave days each year has been increasing in Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra and Hobart, and across Australia as a whole since 1950.

“These heatwaves can have severe effects on human health, including both direct heat illnesses such as heat exhaustion and indirect illnesses such as cardiovascular failure,” said Ms McKenzie.

“This long-term warming trend driven by the burning of coal, oil and gas is putting Australian lives, our economy and the environment at risk.,” she said.

For more information please contact Senior Communications Advisor, Lisa Upton on 0438 972 260 or Communications Officer, Brianna Hudson on 0455 238 875.

The Climate Council is Australia’s leading community-funded climate change communications organisation. We provide authoritative, expert and evidence-based advice on climate change to journalists, policymakers, and the wider Australian community.

For further information, go to: climatecouncil.org.au
Or follow us on social media: facebook.com/climatecouncil and twitter.com/climatecouncil