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State of the Climate 2012

By Rob Vertessy and Megan Clark

The Bureau of Meteorology and CSIRO have released an updated summary of Australia’s long term climate trends.

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Australia’s land and oceans have continued to warm in response to rising CO2 emissions from the burning of fossil fuels.

This is the headline finding in the State of the Climate 2012, an updated summary of Australia’s long term climate trends released by CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology today (14 March 2012).

The long-term warming trend has not changed.

Each decade has been warmer than the previous decade since the 1950s. Global-average surface temperatures were the warmest on record in 2010 (slightly higher than 2005 and 1998). 2011 was the world’s 11th warmest year and the warmest year on record during a La Niña event. The world’s 13 warmest years on record have all occurred in the past 15 years.

On land around Australia the observed warming trends are consistent with the global-scale warming – despite 2010 and 2011 being the coolest years recorded in Australia since 2001.

In the oceans around Australia, sea-surface temperatures have increased faster than the global average, and sea-level rise since 1993 is greater than, or equal to, the global average.

Australian average temperatures over land
Australian annual-average daily mean temperatures showed little change from 1910 to 1950 but have progressively warmed since, increasing by 0.9°C from 1910 to 2011. The average temperature during the past ten years...

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.

Rob Vertessy is Acting Director at Australian Bureau of Meteorology. Megan Clark is Chief Executive Officer at CSIRO. This article is reproduced from The Conversation (www.theconversation.edu.au).