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It's not global warming, it's Australia!

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
January 16th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Scientists are cautioning people against jumping to conclusions and blaming the most recent series of heatwaves in Australia on climate change, saying that while such events may become more frequent, Australia has always had its share of very hot weather.

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA (Catholic Online) - Anytime temperatures spike, people are tempted to talk about global warming. Likewise, those who reject global warming point to colder temperatures and expanding ice in the Polar Regions. However, both may be right.

Scientific consensus is strong, backing global warming as the cause of much of the world's increasingly extreme weather, however scientists say global warming is not just about hotter temperatures. More correctly, global warming is about extreme weather, brought about by the increased energy trapped in the Earth's atmosphere.

That means weather may be both hotter and colder, as the average temperature around the globe increases. Some places will see increased moisture in the form of rain, snow, or ice, and others will see drought.

However, scientists in Australia are pointing out that the continent is one of the world's driest and that heatwaves and brush fires have been endemic throughout all of Australia's modern history.

Dr. Scott Power, an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) member told the media about the heatwaves, "Extreme temperatures, heatwaves, bushfires - it's all part and parcel of living in Australia during summer, so that's nothing new. What climate change does is increase the likelihood of such events and also increases the intensity."

He continued, "So far in Australia we have seen warming of about 0.9C since 1910 and that's projected to go up . . . if emissions aren't brought down over coming decades."

"So these sorts of events will become increasingly more common and the temperature records that are set will tend to go up with each passing decade."

So while Australians can expect longer and hotter heatwaves, the necessary adjustment isn't severe. Australians are hardy folk, always facing such challenges living on one of the most inhospitable continents on the planet.

Global warming or not, tolerating heatwaves are just part of living in Australia.

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