As James Hansen and colleagues showed in a paper published last year in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the occurrence of extremely hot events has risen by a factor of around 50 by comparison to the decades before 1980. Extreme summer heat, which afflicted between 0.1% and 0.2% of the world 40 years ago, now affects 10%. They warned that "an important change is the emergence of a category of summertime extremely hot outliers, more than three standard deviations (3σ) warmer than the climatology of the 1951–1980 base period". An extremely hot outlier is a good description of what is roasting Australia at the moment.
Wednesday, 9 January 2013
George Monbiot on Australia's heatwave and politics
In Heatwave: Australia's new weather demands a new politics George Monbiot writes: