Aussie temperature records will be broken - experts

By Cassandra Mason

Australia can expect more crippling heat waves as temperature records are expected to be broken continually in years to come, climate change experts say.

Reached on Monday, Australia's new record hottest average maximum temperature of 40.33 degrees is not expected to last long in the top spot once the rest of the week's readings are in.

And climate change scientists are predicting worse to come as global temperatures rise.

''The current heat wave - in terms of its duration, its intensity and its extent - is unprecedented in our records,'' the Bureau of Meteorology's manager of climate monitoring and prediction, David Jones, told the Sydney Morning Herald.

''Clearly, the climate system is responding to the background warming trend. Everything that happens in the climate system now is taking place on a planet which is a degree hotter than it used to be.''

A special climate statement released by the bureau this week said that Australia's heat wave is a continuation of the record-breaking temperatures searing the much of the country since September.

Dr Markus Donat from the Climate Change Research Centre also commented on the trend.
"In recent studies we have analysed how extreme temperatures have changed globally. For most regions, including Australia, we found that extremely high temperatures have become more frequent and more intense, while extremely low temperatures are occurring less frequently than they did in the middle of the 20th century.
In the past three decades, the frequency of days in the hottest five per cent have increased by 40 per cent, Donat said.

And Australia won't be the only country to suffer from rising temperatures.

A recent study done by Britain's Met Office showed that 2013 is on course to be the hottest ever globally.

Assuming the background warming trend will continue at the current rate, this year could be 0.43 to 0.71 degrees hotter worldwide than the average temperature between 1961 and 1990, the Met Office found.

If this happens, 2013 would trump the previous joint record set in 2005 and 2010.

A report released by the National Climatic Data Centre this week also showed that temperatures in the United States reached record levels.

Temperature differences year to year are ordinarily measured by fractions of a degree, but 2012 was a full degree Fahrenheit hotter than the previous record set in 1998, The Guardian reported.

- nzherald.co.nz

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