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: - 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

U.S: Global Warming to exacerbate Heat related deaths, more storms for New York

The residents of Manhattan and New York are already feeling the effects of global warming after experiencing Hurricanes Irene and Superstorm Sandy. But more is in store with more frequent large storms, rising sea levels, and higher temperatures and heatwaves in summer. The latest scientific study identifies that rising temperatures and heatwaves are likely to substantially increase temperature related deaths in the city.

The study by public health and climate reserachers at Columbia University in New York projects that in the 2020s there will be a mean increase of about 20 percent in deaths due to heat, set against a mean decrease of about 12 percent in deaths due to cold, with a net result of a 5 or 6 percent increase in overall temperature-related deaths. Heat related mortality is expected to rise steeply in projections for the 2050s and 2080s, despite alternate emissions scenarios. The worst case scenario is projected to cause over 1,000 annual heat related deaths by rising temperatures and heatwaves.

Angry Summer - 123 records broken

Angry Summer - 123 records broken

Image by Australian Climate Commission, 1 March 2013

Australia: Melbourne heatwave a sizzling autumn end to an angry summer

Angry Summer - 123 records broken: Image by Australian Climate Commission, 1 March 2013Angry Summer - 123 records broken: Image by Australian Climate Commission, 1 March 2013Melbourne is setting another temperature record: the longest number of days of any month where the maximum temperature exceeds 30 degrees Celsius.

Heat stress from rising temperatures and humidity will reduce work capacity: NOAA

Labour capacity reduced due to heat stress as temperature and humidity rises with Climate ChangeLabour capacity reduced due to heat stress as temperature and humidity rises with Climate ChangeClimate change will result in hotter and more humid environment for the tropics and mid latitudes resulting in increasing economic costs of reduced work capacity due to heat stress. The study by NOAA scientists said work capacity has already reduced by 10 percent due to extreme heat in summer months. This is likely to double to 20 per cent by 2050.

One of the physical properties of warmer air is that it can hold more moisture. So in hot weather atmospheric humdity can be more extreme. But there are physiological limits of human health in coping with temperature extremes. In 2010 Scientists outlined health limits of heat stress with Climate Change. The scientific paper by Steven Sherwood from the University of NSW and Professor Matthew Huber from Purdue University - 'An Adaptability Limit to Climate Change Due to Heat Stress' outlined the health adaptation limits of the human body.

Australia: Bushfires strike with extreme heatwave blanketing most of continent

Image courtesy Australian Bureau of MeteorologyImage courtesy Australian Bureau of MeteorologyA heatwave covering 70 per cent of Australia that started on January 3 has sparked catastrophic bushfires. Tasmania has so far been the most devastated by fire with more than 100 houses and businesses razed, the Tasman peninsula cutoff, without power, and thousands evacuated by boat to Hobart. The Temperature soared in Hobart setting new records for highest daily minimum overnight temperature of 23.4C and a new maximum temperature of 41.3C.

Update Jan 8: Climate Change: Records tumble in extreme heatwave as temperature scale adjusted upwards while Prime Minister Julia Gillard links intensity of bushfires with climate change as NSW survives catastrophic fire conditions. Other states are also experiencing bushfires, but have so far brought the fires mostly under control. The heatwave is expected to last over a week with elevated temperatures particularly in inland areas. It is very unusual that a heat wave covers such a large area of the continent at one time, according to Karl Braganza, manager of climate monitoring at the Australian Bureau of Meteorology.

Australia's weather has switched to hot and dry after one of the wettest two year periods in Australia's history influenced by an extremely strong La Nina event.

Related: Youtube animation of forecast heatwave temperatures | Scientists outline human health limits of heat stress with Climate Change (May 2010) | Flooding rains now burning plains - Bushfire risk and climate change (Oct 2011) | Logging of Victorian mountain ash forests increases bushfire risk (Oct 2011) | Intact native Forests mitigate bushfire in a warming climate (Nov 2011) | CSIRO - Climate change impacts on fire weather

extreme heatwave blanketing most of Australia January 2013

extreme heatwave blanketing most of Australia January 2013

Image from Australian Bureau of Meteorology - Forecast temperature 5pm Tuesday 8 January 2013

Western Australia: Marine heatwave with elevated sea surface temps threatening marine biodiversity

Sea Surface Temperature Anomaly for Australia 28 December 2012Sea Surface Temperature Anomaly for Australia 28 December 2012High sea surface temperatures (SST) of up to five degrees above normal are currently being experienced off the north-western Australian coast in a marine heatwave event. Like the extreme marine heatwave event in 2011 this will change marine ecosystems causing coral bleaching and fish mortality and impact on fisheries management and biodiversity.

A similar event occurred over several weeks during the 2010/2011 summer which impacted seafood stocks and marine ecosystems and was associated with an extremely strong La Niña event and a record strength Leeuwin Current down the Western Australian coast.

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