• Australia set for more heat waves

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    SYDNEY: Australia is set to experience more heat waves, with record-breaking hot weather becoming “normal” across the continent as climate change pushes up land and sea temperatures, a government report has warned.

    The biannual State of the Climate report from the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) and national science body CSIRO said Australia was already experiencing more extremely hot days and severe fire seasons, and projections showed temperatures would likely keep rising.

    “Australian temperatures will almost certainly continue to increase over the coming decades. Temperature projections suggest more extremely hot days and fewer extremely cool days,” CSIRO senior scientist Helen Cleugh said.

    “As land temperatures increase, so do ocean temperatures and the report shows that the deep ocean is also impacted, with warming now recorded at least 2,000 meters below the sea surface.”

    The country experienced its three warmest springs on record between 2013-15, the weather bureau said. Spring, from September to November, is the period when temperature and rainfall are critical to southern Australia’s bushfire season.

    While there has been more rain in some areas, there has also been a “significant seasonal decline” in others, including an 11 percent drop during the April-October growing season in Australia’s southeastern region since the mid-1990s, BOM added.

    AFP

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