State of the Climate

Whether you believe it is human induced (anthropogenic) or natural occurring (atmospheric, hydrospheric and biospheric) or otherwise the facts speak for themselves. From the Bureau of Meteorology the Fast Facts are:

  • Climate change is continuing
  • Warming has been measured around Australia and globally during recent decades
  • 2010 Global temperatures were the warmest on record (slightly higher than 2005 and 1998)
  • Australia experienced record rainfalls and the coolest temperatures since 2001 due to a very strong La Niña event in 2010 and 2011
  • Concentrations of long-lived greenhouse gases in the atmosphere reached a new high in 2011
  • Australian temperatures are projected to increase in coming decades

Rising CO2 emissions from the burning of fossil fuels has affected global temperature much more than natural climate variability during the past century.

The State of the Climate(March 2010 release) highlighted a multi-decadal warming trend over Australia’s land and oceans, an increase in record hot days and decrease in record cold days across the country, a decrease in rainfall in southwest and southeast Australia, an increase in global sea level, and increases in global greenhouse gas concentrations.

The State of the Climate (2012 release) provides an updated summary of long-term climate trends. It notes that the long-term warming trend has not changed, with each decade having been warmer than the previous decade since the 1950s. The warming trends observed around Australia are consistent with global-scale warming that has been measured during recent decades, despite 2010 and 2011 being the coolest years recorded in Australia since 2001. Global-average surface temperatures were the warmest on record in 2010 (slightly higher than 2005 and 1998). 2011 was the world’s 11th warmest year and the warmest year on record during a La Niña event. The world’s 13 warmest years on record have all occurred in the past 15 years.

State of the Climate 2012 also highlights the increase in global sea level and notes sea-level rise around Australia since 1993 is greater than, or equal to, the global average. Our observations show that sea-surface temperatures around Australia have increased faster than the global average. The concentrations of long-lived greenhouse gases in the atmosphere reached a new high in 2011. Annual growth in global fossil-fuel CO2 emissions between 2009 and 2010 was 5.9 per cent, reversing a small decline of 1.2 per cent recorded between 2008 and 2009 during the global financial crisis”.

CO2Land org stresses that from a farmer perspective the interrupts to the season trends mean considerable adaption will be required, more than just improved management techniques. Evidence is given by the Bureau that  “There has been a general trend towards increased spring and summer monsoonal rainfall across Australia’s north during recent decades, and decreased late autumn and winter rainfall across southern Australia. The summary shows that the very strong La Niña event in 2010 followed by another in 2011 brought the highest two-year Australian-average rainfall total on record.

CO2Land org was impressed with Dr Karl Braganza from the Climate Monitoring Section of the Bureau of Meteorology where he discusses the State of the Climate in 2012 in a video. Visit www.bom.gov.au and follow the report.

 

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