15 Jan 2013

Hot weather records increase fivefold

Global warming has caused monthly records for heat to increase fivefold in frequency, according to a study by scientists in Germany and Spain.

In parts of Europe, Africa and southern Asia, the frequency of months with record-breaking heat has surged tenfold, said the study published on Monday.

The evidence comes from an analysis of 131 years of monthly temperature data, monitored at 12,000 points around the world, which are stored in a NASA database.

If man-made warming is stripped out of the equation, 80 per cent of the records for hottest-ever months would not have occurred, it said.
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Extremes of rain, heat on the way
As Australia recovers from last week's record-breaking temperatures, the head of the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says it is clear heatwaves are occurring more frequently, and will increase further with global warming.

Australia heat wave lights fire under climate inflation
It seems certain that it will not just be the general population that will be reassessing climate risk in the wake of the extraordinary heat wave to have hit Australia this year – as they did in America with Hurricane Sandy – it will also be stock market investors.

Climate inflation is a rapidly emerging theme in global stock markets – or at least it should be after the International Energy Agency last year pushed the concept of a global “carbon budget” into the mainstream. We discussed last October what that might mean for the fossil fuel industries and those whose company valuations are based around fuels they have yet to extract.

In recent days there have been a couple of really good reads on what the Australian heat waves might mean for the general population, and potentially for politics – Tim Flannery and George Monbiot are just two of them.

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