Our latest report making headlines
Just a quick update on our latest report explaining breakthrough scientific research demonstrating the strong influence of climate change on individual extreme heat events.
It seems every time there’s another record-breaking heatwave we first must endure the swelter; then the “debate” over whether it has anything to do with climate change (‘Australia! It’s always been hot!’)… and if climate change is influencing individual weather events, by how much?
Well, new ground-breaking research is changing this conversation, to be more decisive and well-informed.
Scientists can now pinpoint exactly how much climate change is contributing to individual extreme heat events, and it won’t surprise you to learn that, yes: hot days are happening more often while heatwaves are becoming hotter, longer and more frequent thanks to greenhouse gas emissions.
The research reveals that:
- Our record hot year of 2013 in Australia was virtually impossible without climate change.
- Climate change tripled the odds that the heat waves of the 2012/2013 Australian summer would occur as frequently as they did.
- Climate change doubled the odds that the 2012/2013 heat waves would be as intense as they were.
We were pleased with the media coverage the report received. Five TV channels ran the story on their national bulletin, while newspapers gave us colourful headlines like the Courier-Mail’s, “It’s hot…damn hot”, and it was picked up internationally in the US, Canada and the UK.
We’ve been focused for the last year on getting out as much information as possible on the link between extreme weather and climate change. Extreme weather helps us explain that climate change is not just a future problem affecting polar bears, but a tangible issue affecting Australians today.
It’s working. Public opinion polling by Essential Media Communications in November showed that 76% of people thought that climate change and extreme weather were linked, compared to 52% in January 2014. Now journalists say to me, ‘of course Tim, don’t we already know this?’ Whereas 18 months ago it was a very different conversation.
Reports like this are helping to keep climate change at the top of the national agenda. There is much more to do, but thank you for your support which makes it possible.
You can read a copy of the report for yourself here. [idea: Even better, email a copy to your MP with a polite but not altogether unalarmed note urging them to act.]
Again, thank you for all that you do to share, support and make our work possible.