2015 was the hottest year on record globally and Australia recording one of its top five warmest years. Australia’s three warmest springs have occurred in the past three years – and eight of Australia’s warmest years on record have now occurred since 2002.
The findings are contained in the 2015 climate summary released today by the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM).
“We are now experiencing changes to extreme events in Australia - notably more fire weather, record-breaking temperatures and heatwaves,” said Imogen Jubb, Acting Manager for the Climate Reality Project at the Australian Conservation Foundation.
“Big polluting companies are continuing to damage our climate, and we are experiencing the consequences here and now.
“Heatwaves, droughts, fire threaten people’s lives and livelihoods. These extreme weather events are becoming more frequent and intense, with many historical records smashed right around the world,” she said.
Climate change and the peaking of the El Niño weather phenomenon are expected to drive the global average temperature next year above the 2015 record, which itself beat a new record set in 2014.
“Our government has a duty of care to protect life and to look after our communities,” said Jubb.
“At the recent UN Climate Summit in Paris our government talked up renewables and energy innovation, but at home the same government is approving new coal mines while Australia’s carbon emissions continued to increase in 2015.
“If Adani’s Carmichael coal mine – recently approved by the Turnbull Government – goes ahead, the pollution resulting from that single project will almost entirely wipe out Australia’s pollution reduction commitments in Paris.
“Our politicians represent us, and have a responsibility to plan ahead for challenges today and tomorrow. To protect people from even more intense bushfire and drought, we must cut pollution fast,” she said.