1/19/2013 Update: As the two weeks of extreme heat continue, Sydney recorded a new record temperature of 46.4 degrees C.
Facing ‘unprecedented’ heat and threats of ‘catastrophic’ wildfires, Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard has publicly stated her concerns about climate change. Gillard is the latest head of state to acknowledge the growing risk we now face from more extreme weather events after Barack Obama spoke about the issue following Hurricane Sandy. She warned of the role played by global warming during a visit to a burnt out school in Tasmania, which succumbed to the wildfires currently ravaging the Australian continent amidst a record breaking heatwave.
Australians are trapped under a ‘dome of heat’ which according to the Bureau of Meteorology has smashed a 40 year old record for national average temperature (weighing in at a sizzling 40.33°C) and toppled the record for number of consecutive days over 39°C which now stands at 6 days and counting. Experts believe the heatwave is set to continue, as over 100 wildfires continue to rage across the countryside in New South Wales alone, threatening lives and property in a natural disaster that some experts believe could rival the notorious firestorms of 2009 that claimed hundreds of lives.
Learn more: The Atlantic Wire >>
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