Sydney, Australia saw its average rainfall for the entirety of February in a single hour this year. Brisbane was flooded this March by Cyclone Debbie. This month, Melbourne’s average monthly rainfall fell in a single day. As the world’s climate continues to change, we can expect to see more of these “extreme weather events.”
According to “Intense Rainfall and Flooding: The Influence of Climate Change” by the Climate Council, “Bushfires, drought, heatwaves, storms, and extreme wind will be expected to become more frequent.” Australia’s heatwaves are already lasting longer and reaching hotter temperature highs and the Center of Excellence for Climate System Science’s research shows that Sydney’s summer heatwaves are already starting 19 days earlier. An intense heatwave in Victoria and Southern Australia during 2009 killed 432 people, 23 people drowned in the Queensland floods of 2011, and another 8 people died after a city-wide “asthma event” which was triggered by a freak thunderstorm during November of 2016 in Melbourne. In fact, heat extremes for 2030 are already being predicted since the number of heatwave days have a;ready doubled over the last 30 years. “The hottest day of their heat wave is 4.5 degrees hotter than it used to be,” says Amanda McKenzie, the CEO of the Climate Council.
I think it’s interesting that this article concludes with the statement – “We need to make sure we have a clear idea about what the changing climate will mean, and that we’re ensuring that our infrastructure is prepared, our emergency services are prepared, and communities are prepared too.” We’ve talked so much in class about how government can protect its people from natural hazards so I’m eager to see what mitigation will be put into place to protect the region. I also want to see how Australia’s government will react to the incoming of extreme weather events as its climate continues to change, and how the people can prepare for such event.