Posted by: nsrupidara | February 4, 2009

Weather watchers issue heatwave warning

Note: Rasanya umat manusia perlu sangat serius menyikapi perubahan iklim. Saya tidak membayangkan berada di suatu lingkungan dengan suhu di atas 40 C selama beberapa hari berturut-turut seperti terjadi di Melbourne dan Adelaide sepekan silam. Jika pada teks di bawah, para pengamat cuaca menilai bahwa fenomena ini akan menjadi ‘makanan harian’, maka ini sebuah alarm yang patut diwaspadai secara serius.  Siapa menabur angin, menuai badai.

February 4, 2009, 1:56 pm

Weather watchers warn Australians will have to get used to more heatwaves after the record-setting temperatures that have scorched the country’s southeast so far this year.

While Tasmania experienced its highest temperature on record, much of Victoria and South Australia baked in temperatures well above 40 degrees – the highest being 48.2 at Kyancutta, SA, on January 28.

Victoria peaked at 45.8 degrees at Avalon Airport on January 29, then Charlton on January 31, falling short of the state’s record of 47.2, while Adelaide also sweated through its warmest night on record, the mercury slipping to only 33.9 in the early hours of January 29.

Around the same time, RAAF Edinburgh, in the city’s north, recorded a temperature of 41.7 degrees at 3.04am, fanned by strong winds.

“Such an event appears to be without known precedent in southern Australia,” a climate statement released by the Bureau of Meteorology on Wednesday said.

Climatologist David Jones said global warming, while a key issue, was not the sole reason for the heatwave.

“It’s a complex discussion. What global warming does is . .. it increases the frequency of hot events and decreases the frequency or likelihood of a cold event,” Dr Jones said.

“It’s about relative probability. Look back over the last decade in Australia, we’ve had one or two really cold spells but we’ve had many more really hot spells and that’s what it’s about.

“It’s not saying this heatwave has been caused by global warming, it hasn’t – we’ve had heatwaves in the past.

“But the likelihood of this has been increased by global warming, the severity of these events has probably been increased by global warming and the likelihood of seeing these in future will increase further as the globe warms.”

Dr Jones, acting head of the National Climate Centre, said it was anticipated Australia would experience a two- to four-degree celsius warming this century.

“We’re going to be routinely seeing 45-degree temperatures in Australia come the end of this century under global warming,” he added.

“We’re seeing large increases in heatwaves globally over the last 100 years. That’s going to continue, it’s going to accelerate and really … people are going to have to get used to these sorts of heatwaves, they’re going to become a lot more frequent.”



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