Australia

Australia: Mass bat deaths in record setting Queensland heatwave

Grey-headed Flying Foxes: Source: Sundew/Flickr CC-by-2.0Grey-headed Flying Foxes: Source: Sundew/Flickr CC-by-2.0Flying Foxes are dropping to earth and dying in their thousands from heat exhaustion. Original story from Australia Indymedia

The extreme heat in Queensland from the 29 December to 5 January has taken a massive toll of flying fox colonies, warns a wildlife conservation organisation. It is estimated that perhaps hundreds of thousands of native flying foxes have died as a direct result of the record setting high temperatures in the heatwave event across Queensland and north western NSW.

Last year Australia suffered it's hottest year on record, with scientists claiming that extensive fractional risk attribution modelling of 2013 temperatures that this was clearly caused by human greenhouse gas emissions and climate change.

Australia: Sea surface temperatures unusually warm in 2013

Australia had elevated sea surface temperatures for 2013: Source: BOMAustralia had elevated sea surface temperatures for 2013: Source: BOMSea surface temperatures around Australia in 2013 were unusually warm reported the Australian Bureau of Meteorology in it's annual climate statement. Record ocean temperatures were recorded for January and February, with November the second-highest on record. This continues a long term trend for increasing sea surface temperatures around Australia and globally. Original article by Takver from Indymedia Australia.

Updates:

2013 was Australia's hottest year, warm for much of the world say Bureau of Meteorology scientists

Australia sets new mean temperature record for 2013: Source: Australian Bureau of MeteorologyAustralia sets new mean temperature record for 2013: Source: Australian Bureau of MeteorologyBy Blair Trewin, Australian Bureau of Meteorology; David Jones, Australian Bureau of Meteorology; Karl Braganza, Australian Bureau of Meteorology; Neil Plummer, Australian Bureau of Meteorology, and Rob Smalley, Australian Bureau of Meteorology

The Bureau of Meteorology has confirmed 2013 as Australia’s hottest year since records began in 1910.

Average temperatures over the continent have been 1.2C above the 1961-1990 average, breaking the previous record set in 2005 by 0.17C. It was also the hottest year on record for South Australia, Western Australia and the Northern Territory. The other states - Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania – recorded above-average temperatures that rank in their top four hottest years.

Australia's coal expansion risks stranded assets

Activists call for Westpac Bank to divest from Fossil FuelsActivists call for Westpac Bank to divest from Fossil FuelsAustralia's headlong expansion of coal mining for export carries substantial investment risks of stranding assets says a new report from Oxford University. Previous warnings regarding potential risks of a carbon bubble have been made by Carbon Tracker, PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and International Energy Agency (IEA).

During December 2013 the Abbott Federal Government gave approval for massive coal port expansion in Queensland at Abbot Point and expansion of coal seam gas (CSG) facilities in Gladstone. It also approved the third coal mine to operate in the Galilee basin 450km from the coast. Environmental approval processes were also passed to the authority of State Governments to streamline further mining approvals, as well as Federal funding immediately cut to Environmental Defenders Offices in each state.

Australia: - new site tracks heatwaves

Australia: 2013 Hottest September on record: Map by BOMAustralia: 2013 Hottest September on record: Map by BOMBy Sarah Perkins

It's a scorcher: new site tracks heatwaves across Australia

Australian and the global abandonment in climate forums of biodiversity

Protest against proposed programs like REDD+: Photo: Ian MacKenzie /FlickrProtest against proposed programs like REDD+: Photo: Ian MacKenzie /FlickrGlobal climate game abandons biodiversity

By Penny van Oosterzee, James Cook University

Hundreds rally to oppose brown coal allocation and export from Victoria

Hundreds rallied outside the Victorian Parliament House opposing plans for brown coal allocation and development for a coal export industry from the La Trobe Valley and Gippsland.

Currently 13 billion tonnes of brown coal is being considered for allocation by the Napthine conservative state Governmnet, despite the impact of this in carbon emissions on climate change and increasing temperatures and extreme weather. As well as the allocation of coal licences, $90 million of Federal and State subsidies are also up for grab. Does subsidising brown coal make sense when we should rapidly be transitioning to renewables? See Youtube Video

Australia: Tens of Thousands rally for Climate Action

thousands rally for climate action in Australia: Photo by Takverthousands rally for climate action in Australia: Photo by TakverMore than 60,000 people are estimated to have rallied or marched for climate action across Australia in a demonstration that a significant number of people view climate change as a serious issue requiring substantive action from all levels of Government, including the Federal Government lead by conservative Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

Related: COP19: Australia wins unprecedented fourth Fossil of the Day award for finance stance | Australia wins Fossil awards for repeal of carbon pricing and abandoning neighbors on loss and damage | Australia earns first rebuke by civil society at UN climate change talks | COP19: Australia and Canada are leading the wreckers at Warsaw

Australia earns first rebuke by civil society at UN climate change talks

Australia had the dubious priveledge of earning the first Fossil of the Day award at the United Nations climate talks in Warsaw, Poland. Civil society organisations confer the awards each day of the climate talks, and have been doing so since 1999.

Related: The Verb - Australia won't be missed

Australian Prime Minister in denial on climate change worsening bushfires

Australian Prime Minister Tony AbbottAustralian Prime Minister Tony AbbottIn a radio interview with Neil Mitchell, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said that the Head of the UNFCCC, Christiana Figueres, is "talking through her hat" for connecting the NSW bushfires with climate change and that "these fires are certainly not a function of climate change, they are just a function of life in Australia."

It seems Mr Abbott is in denial on all the wildfire research done on the increase in fireweather and increase in frequency and intensity in bushfires both in Australia and globally.

Abbott articulated a list of major bushfire disasters in Australia as justification that climate change is not involved. Yet the science clearly shows the long term climate change trend for rising temperatures, with increasing frequency of heatwaves drying out forests and grasslands and driving reductions in humidity and soil moisture making extreme fireweather and bushfires more frequent and more intense.

Earlier this year just after the Tasmanian bushfires wiped out the town of Dunalley with people fleeing the inferno by boat, Prime Minister Julia Gillard linked the increasing frequency and intensity of bushfires generally to climate change conditions. At least she reads what climate scientists say on bushfires and climate change, unlike the present Prime Minister.

Related: Unusually early Sydney Bushfires spark debate over climate - bushfire link

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