2011 has brought an onslaught of climate change shenanigans seemingly targeted at Australia. There is a small list of things irregular or regular yet extreme. There’s bush fires in South Australia, extreme flooding in Queensland, super cyclone Yasi in Queensland again, major flooding in Melbourne and a heatwave in Sydney.
Queensland seems to be getting the full brunt of things without even a break in between cleanups. The extreme weather has left Queensland battered but still strong since we are only two months into 2011 what more can happen? Despite the cyclone having a dramatic impact on the lives of the people it has also impacted the native animals. The cyclone has pretty much stripped all the leaves off trees up and around Queensland leaving the koalas with a famine. Koala‘s do not store body fat so by the time the leaves will start growing on trees again the koalas will begin to have long term and short term health problems.
Bush fires are a regular sight around Australia especially during the summer so that’s not too bad although now the fires appear to come dangerously close to towns and cities. Something that definitely does not usually happen.
Heat waves are definitely a mark of Australia although with the crazy weather around in every state, it definitely is not best. Sydney had a week of weather that was above 30 degrees celsius leading to an increase in the demand for electricity to fuel the air conditioning. Melbourne had a week of above 40 degree celsius weather in the summer of 2009.
This summer for Melbourne has definitely been the wettest. During drought every summer would be hot and dry bringing in daily bush fires. After drought the summer has been extremely wet. Every morning and early afternoon it would be its usual summery hot but once it hits late afternoon the weather turns ominous bringing a downpour or rain usually ending in five to ten minutes. The sudden rain at regular intervals has resulted in flash floods in the city and out. A very peculiar sight is snow in summer. This summer for Australia it was snowing in the mountains of Victoria. If it was snowing in summer anywhere you would definitely believe the weather is changing.
With highly irregular weather demonstrated in Australia alone you can clearly see that things will be changing for the world. Smaller countries like Tuvalu who are regularly ignored at major climate conferences will hardly stand a chance with this extreme weather. We can just hope that although there are expected weather extremes, the effect and impact of such weather will not leave a gaping scar for us to recover from.
Thankfully for Australia the government has invested its money in ‘adapting to climate change.’ Although they could have spent more money in preventing climate change this is still money well spent.