Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The New Normal: Melbourne's Extended Angry Summer

March 15, 2013 -

In Melbourne the heat of The Angry Summer has continued. After the hottest summer on record, averaging 2.1 C above normal, records have continued to be broken in autumn.

On Wednesday Melbourne experienced its 9th day in a row where the maximum temperature was above 32 C. This was the longest stretch of days over 30 C on record.

"Australia, 'the sunburnt country', has always experienced extreme weather and heatwaves," said Commissioner Professor Will Steffen. "However, climate change is now contributing to making these extreme heat conditions worse. These record-breaking events show that climate change is already affecting Victorians."

Melbourne recorded 7 nights in a row where the overnight temperature did not drop below 20 C, the longest stretch since records began in 1856.

The March heatwave was serious because of the unusually hot nights. High overnight temperatures intensify heatwave impacts as the body struggles to cool down and recover overnight. Ambulance Victoria reported a 25% increase in workload as a result of heat-related callouts as the heat event persisted. Heat is the leading cause of weather-related deaths in Australia.

"It is important that we understand that the baseline conditions have shifted. We live in a hotter world and the risk of more frequent and severe extreme weather has already increased."

"The preventative actions we take now and in the coming years will greatly influence the extent of climate change and therefore the severity of extreme events that our children, and especially our grandchildren, will experience."

Melbourne's March Records

- 9 days in a row over 30 C - the longest stretch since records began in 1856. The previous record, set over 50 years ago, was 8 days in a row (February 1961).
- 7 nights in a row with temperatures above 20 C.
- Warmest March night since records began.

The independent Commission was established in 2011 to provide an authoritative and trusted source of information on climate change science and solutions.

Key Facts and Figures

- 9 days in a row over 30 C - the longest stretch since records began in 1856. The previous record, set over 50 years ago, was 8 days in a row (February 1961).
- 7 nights in a row with temperatures above 20 C.
- Warmest March night since records began.

About

SOURCE: Climate Commission

(ENDS)

Contact Details

Contact: Amanda McKenzie 0408 117 040

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