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Monday, February 26, 2024

Australia. Extreme heat, storms and downpours. Climate change. The weather is like “on steroids”

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A heat wave has hit the Australian state of New South Wales. The temperature there exceeded 43 degrees. Additionally, 71 grass and bush fires broke out there.

An early summer heatwave has hit New South Wales. It brought the hottest weather of 2020 to many parts of the state. – Sydney Airport recorded a high of 43.5 degrees Celsius around 1pm on Saturday, breaking the December 1994 record of 43.2 degrees, said Jordan Notara, a forecaster with the Bureau of Meteorology.

City residents sought relief at Bondi Beach. The rescuers there had to be prepared not only to help people spending time in the water, but also to respond to cases of heat stroke.

Heat, fires and downpours in Australia

On Saturday, 71 grass and bush fires broke out in New South Wales, 21 of which have not been contained, the state fire brigade reported. Extreme heat, strong winds and storms lightning also caused over 30 fires in the state of South Australia. On Thursday alone, over 30,000 were registered in 24 hours lightning strikes. In turn, in Adelaide, the capital of the state of South Australia, 27 liters of rain fell per square meter in 30 hours, which exceeds the December average of 25.9 l/sq m. – the Meteorological Office reported. At the same time, strong tropical cyclone Jasper began to move towards the state of Queensland, located in the north-east of the country. The element is expected to reach land on Wednesday. It will bring very strong wind gusts and heavy rains. Local media are already reporting that residents of the state have rushed to shop to have supplies for when the disaster strikes; You can see empty shelves in many stores and supermarkets. “What we’re seeing with climate change is our weather on steroids,” climate scientist Simon Bradshaw told Australian broadcaster ABC, stressing that the Earth’s atmosphere has become “wetter, warmer and contains more energy.”

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“Something’s up”

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese announced that the time has come for citizens to take care of their own and others’ safety. “There has been a reminder from Sydney, and also from other parts of the east coast, that something is up with global warming,” he said. He also emphasized that it poses a serious threat to both people and the environment. – Hot records will be broken again and again, which is why my government is determined to fight global warming.

A difficult time for the Australian bush

Despite the cooling forecast for Sunday, it is expected to be very hot, dry and windy in Sydney and the surrounding area in the near future. As a result, a large area of ​​New South Wales has been banned from lighting bonfires. As of Saturday evening, nearly 90 bushfires had been reported in the state. The last two fire seasons in Australia have been relatively uneventful – at least compared to the disastrous 2019/2020 season. The fire then consumed an area the size of Turkey and killed 33 people.

Reuters, ABC, Sydney Morning Herald

Main photo source: PAP/EPA/BRENT LEWIN

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