Evidence of warming in Australia
Australia's average temperature has increased on average by 1.44 ± 0.24 °C since national records began in 1910. Since 1950, every decade has been warmer than the decade before.
A staggering 99% of locations are projected to experience a warming increase of up to 4.8°, with almost all areas losing their winter season altogether. NSW will be the state hardest hit by temperature increases; 8 of the top 10 most likely areas to increase in average temperature rise are in the state.
Daily temperatures in parts of the state in January and February can be up to 50 °C (122 °F). The highest maximum temperature was recorded as 50.7 °C (123.3 °F) at Oodnadatta on 2 January 1960, which is the highest official temperature recorded in Australia.
El Niño in 2023 becoming more likely, which would result in dry, warm weather across eastern Australia. The first El Niño phase of the Pacific Ocean in eight years is becoming more likely in 2023, increasing the odds of drier and warmer weather across eastern Australia.
Three major economic centres are set to become uninhabitable by the end of the century, with global temperatures on track to warm by 2.7C. Darwin, Broome and Port Hedland are predicted to be pushed outside the “human climate niche” — that is, the temperature and humidity conditions in which humans can survive.
Maximum temperatures are expected to be higher than average over most of Australia this winter, particularly during the second half of the season if El Niño and a positive IOD become entrenched.
The warming will likely cause a number of key trends:
Accelerated sea level rise and worsening coastal erosion. Increased weather intensity including Category 6 cyclones. More frequent and extreme bushfires. A greater chance of extreme flood events.
Australia's weather and climate continues to change in response to a warming global climate. Australia has warmed by just over 1 °C since 1910, with most warming since 1950.
“We want people to do so safely, not just from a Covid point of view, but remember, 40 degrees is a really hot day, so don't expose yourself to unnecessary risk.”
“In the past, Australia has only recorded temperatures above 50 degrees on three occasions: the most recent being Mardie in Western Australia's Pilbara region in 1998, and Oodnadatta in South Australia, which reached 50 degrees twice in 1960 and still holds the record of 50.7C set in January of that year.
El Nino and a positive Indian Ocean Dipole could combine forces to cause abnormally warm and dry weather over large areas of Australia this winter.
Impacts of climate change in Australia. Australia is experiencing higher temperatures, more extreme droughts, fire seasons, floods and more extreme weather due to climate change. Rising sea levels add to the intensity of high-sea-level events and threaten housing and infrastructure.
Australia will experience ongoing future climate changes
Continued drying in the south-west of Western Australia, especially during winter and spring. Longer periods of drought on average in the south and east. A longer fire season for the south and east, and an increase in the number of dangerous fire weather days.
They predict that in three decades, more than 100 million Americans will live in an “extreme heat belt” where at least one day a year, the heat index temperature will exceed 125° Fahrenheit (52° Celsius) — the top level of the National Weather Service's heat index, or the extreme danger level.
Melbourne is experiencing hotter days. We currently average 11 days greater than 35 degrees. By 2050 we will experience an average 16 days greater than 35 degrees.
If the federal government chooses to face the nation's challenges head-on now, the CSIRO said "Australia reaches its full potential" by 2060. This would result in a financially-strong, inclusive, highly-skilled and dynamic, affordable future.
2100: Either uninhabitable or beginning to repair
Over the coming two decades, extreme weather is set to disrupt society with increasingly severe bushfires, drought and storms. The good news is by the end of the century, living on Earth could actually be more pleasant than it is today.
Australia could swing from three years of La Niña to hot and dry El Niño in 2023. Australia could swing from three years of above-average rainfall to one of the hottest, driest El Niño periods on record, as models show an increasing likelihood the climate driver may form in the Pacific in 2023.
For interest, Australia's highest official temperature is 50.7°C at Oodnadatta in South Australia on 2 January 1960 and the last 50 degree temperature in the country was 50.5°C at Mardie Station in Western Australia on 19 February 1998.
2 January 1960
The highest temperature ever recorded in Australia is 50.7 °C (123.3 °F), which was recorded on 2 January 1960 at Oodnadatta, South Australia, and 13 January 2022 at Onslow, Western Australia.
Australia is becoming hotter and more prone to extreme heat, bushfires, droughts, floods, and longer fire seasons because of climate change. Climate issues include wildfires, heatwaves, cyclones, rising sea-levels, and erosion.
Australia is likely to warm in future. Higher emissions cause greater warming. Winter rainfall in southern Australia is likely to decline. Most of the country is likely to experience more extreme daily rainfall.
But climate models tell us certain regions are likely to exceed those temperatures in the next 30-to-50 years. The most vulnerable areas include South Asia, the Persian Gulf, and the Red Sea by around 2050; and Eastern China, parts of Southeast Asia, and Brazil by 2070.
The study, published Jan. 30 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, provides new evidence that global warming is on track to reach 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial averages in the early 2030s, regardless of how much greenhouse gas emissions rise or fall in the coming decade.
Innovation and Science Australia's vision for 2030 is that Australia will be counted within the top tier of innovation nations. We will take pride in our global reputation for excellence in science, research and commercialisation. a fair and inclusive society with a high quality of life.