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Climate change Australia: Temperatures could spike in major cities

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Today, a leading scientific expert outlined just how high and unbearable temperatures could become in capital cities around Australia. As Australia’s participation in the global effort to reduce carbon emissions makes headlines around the world, a leading climate scientist has delivered a stark warning of what is to come.

Sarah Perkins-Kirkpatrick is a climate/heatwave scientist at the Centre of Excellence for Climate Extremes at UNSW. On Wednesday, she told the National Press Club that extreme climate events would increase frequency and ferocity as the earth warms, and attempts to reduce global warming to 2C by 2050 are like “literally flipping a coin”.

She said climate change “is our fault” because of “our addiction to fossil fuels”. The result is a situation that will make Australia’s capital cities unbearably hot and put our regions in the path of more extreme weather events. “Let me be clear here, limiting global warming to 2C is currently unlikely, and limiting to 1.5C is a pipe dream,” she said.

“Even in a world where every country pledges and follows through with their emissions targets to net-zero by 2050, (the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s sixth report) states that we have a 50 percent chance of limiting global warming to 2C. We are flipping a coin.

“Of course, extreme events can happen without climate change … But here is the crucial point: extreme events are rare by their very definition. They should not frequently be occurring and should not be changing.

“If our climate were stable, there would be no detectable long-term changes in intensity, frequency, or severity of any climate extreme. “And here is another crucial point: all of these changes have occurred with just 1.1C of global warming, and we have seen some pretty disastrous extremes of late.”

She mentioned Australia’s black summer, the wildfires in Turkey and Greece, and the “horrible fire season in Canada and California”. Dr. Perkins-Kirkpatrick said Australia could conceivably follow in the footsteps of Lytton, Canada, a small town that sat at the same latitude as London and smashed its temperature record by 5C this year.

The town reached 49.6C, a figure the climate scientist admits “surprised me”. “I did not think a town at 50 degrees latitude could reach such a temperature at our current warming level, and I did not expect that a local temperature record could be smashed by almost 5C,” she said.

“If such records can occur in Canada, then it is only a matter of time before they will appear here. “What if we were to break temperature records by similar margins? If Western Sydney were to break its current temperature record by 5C, it would peak at almost 54C.

“If Canberra were to break its record, the temperature would peak at 49C. “The amount of global warming we reach dictates just how severe changes in extremes will be. This means extreme catastrophic events of late will not be the worst of their kind.

“New record-shattering events will take their place. Can we imagine a (summer) worse than our black summer? Or a fate for the rural communities worse than what Lytton experienced? We need to, and we must. Because this is the future we are facing and we are not even remotely prepared for it.” Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has committed to a carbon-neutral future for Australia by 2050.

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Tristan McCue is a 26-year-old junior programmer who enjoys reading, binge-watching boxed sets, and appearing in the background on TV. He is smart and friendly, but can also be very evil and a bit lazy.He is an Australian Christian. He has a post-graduate degree in computing.
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