At the start of 2015, people in Australia were facing weather conditions that necessitated the use of air conditioning more instead of welcoming beach trips and outdoor barbecues.
Which Australian cities is climate change hitting the hardest?
The climate change that was noticed in Australia, more so in Perth and Adelaide, showed that the heat for an Australian summer was just too hot. Research even shows that Australia would experience more muggy cities in the coming summer months in the next few decades. Climate change is set to be even more disturbing, especially for Sydney and Brisbane, where humidity is expected to rise. For Adelaide, Perth, and Melbourne, better summer winds are forecasted. Although there is still a foreseeable rise in temperature, it would not be quite so much as compared to the climate change predicted for Brisbane and Sydney.
The heat that is currently being experienced by these muggy cities is going to be stressful to anyone. In fact, in January of 2009, there were 374 individuals who died due to heat-related stress, and this was a week before the Black Saturday bushfires that happened. The number of fatalities was a record high that was the result of that three-day record of heat wave that happened in Melbourne. In fact, that number was twice the total number of fatalities during the Black Saturday bushfire. Recently, in 2014, a number of 167 individuals died due to the same heat-related stress.
In response to this, many Australian cities continuously implement several heatwave alert systems. Many are still susceptible though and are defenceless to the heat. To help you in lessening the effects, you need to know the following important pieces of information.
The body can withstand heat, but this is also dependent on the body’s ability to shed off excess heat, like sweating. The body’s normal temperate is 37 degrees. If your body experiences too much heat, whether from the inside or outdoor elements, it will increase the body’s temperature. It is important for your body to sweat, thus, shedding off heat. There are also several elements that would affect sweating, and this would include humidity, wind speed, and surrounding air temperature.
This is why an air temperature of 35 degrees in Brisbane is very much different from a 35 degree air temperature in Melbourne. This is why the Bureau of Meteorology uses such terms as ‘apparent temperature’, thus helping in predicting the type of temperature to issue appropriate warnings.
From the recent climate change studies that were made, Australia is going to go through extreme heat. This is because of climate change – brought about by man. Apparent temperature is also taken into account, as the same studies also show that this has also changed in Australia. Air temperature is the weather temperature that is coming from the weather bureau itself, while apparent temperature is ‘how we feel’.
Brisbane and Sydney see an increase of apparent temperature of about 1 degree Celsius, but the air temperature is really only 0.5 degrees, way back in 1950. This simply means that what was only 29 degrees Celsius in 1950 feels like around 30 or 31 degrees Celsius today. Muggy cities are certainly hotter, as our bodies are unable to shed off excess heat.
Melbourne, Perth, and Adelaide do better with 1 degree Celsius warmer now than in the 1950s. This is because these cities are windier, so while we sweat, we feel cooler faster.
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