Environment

Jan 11, 2013

Madre MIAH, it’s no heatwave, just getting hot in here

The hot temperatures took a long time to build and will take a long time to disperse. So is it climate change? Or El Nino? And was Sydney's scorcher a heatwave? Channel Ten weather presenter Magdalena Roze clarifies.

So, a bit of sun comes out this week and we all scream “heatwave!”. It has been difficult to escape the heat on at least one of the last seven days — or the news and social media reporting on it (guilty as charged).

7 comments

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7 thoughts on “Madre MIAH, it’s no heatwave, just getting hot in here

  1. Roger Clifton

    So climate is the average and climate change is the trend.

    Good, that gives us a standard retort to the standard brainless jibes about non-warm weather: “Maybe — but the trend is clear!”

  2. Modus Ponens

    Tying yourself in knots there. Its not climate change, “Rather, it’s the byproduct of a much more widespread, persistent heat event affecting Australia.”

    Which you fear to attribute to climate change.

    “we can certainly say that it’s a symptom of a very significant, record-breaking nationwide heat event.”

    Which you fear to attribute to climate change trends.

    Fearful that Gina Reinhart might have you sacked if you mention the two ‘C’ words?

    This country’s media needs to have some backbone for facts and data and not endlessly succumb to power plays.

  3. Saugoof

    This is why I love Crikey. Excellent and very informative article. It cut straight through all the sensationalism and actually explained things properly. And there I was thinking that weather presenters just read an autocue…

  4. Andybob

    Good article, thanks. How out of the ordinary is this monsoonal variation ?

  5. Roger Clifton

    Later, meteorologists will piece together the factors contributing to the rise and fall of MIAH. Then perhaps we will be given probabilities of if and when it happens next.

    With a bit of luck, a TV station will make a documentary on it, as Auntie did on stormcloud Hector —
    http://www.abc.net.au/nature/thunderheads/
    – a great show.

  6. Liz A

    This is an interesting article, yet sadly written from a sydney-centric perspective.

    I would like to understand whether the official heatwave(s) in Western Australia, and Perth specifically, are attributable to climate change? The weather there is consistently within the definition of heatwave, they continue to have severe drought conditions, and there seem to be little or no signs of this abating. My mother is convinced that climate change is to blame, and it does seem that the weather there has changed significantly in my lifetime of 40 years (thank god I only go back for holidays).

    Also, outside the Sydney basin in other areas of NSW (what, there are some I hear you cry?), there seem to have been prolonged heat spells – are there areas in NSW that are in heatwave? I’m thinking of out near Dubbo where I have family…

    Thanks!

  7. David R

    I think this article deliberately seeks to avoid linking the heatwave event to climate change. However, the link is best described by the term systemic causation. Because the planet’s average temperature has increased this creates conditions for weather events such as the heatwave to occur.

    It can also be understood by looking at the graphic in the following link. Climate change shifts the temperature bell curve to the right which means there are more days of weather with extreme temperatures. http://imgur.com/Vo2a8

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