Australia records highest temperature in 62 years

SINGAPORE, Jan 14 (Reuters) – Another day, another record-breaking heat.

Australian authorities warned people to stay indoors on Friday as a severe heatwave along the northwest coast pushed temperatures to 50.7 degrees Celsius (123 degrees Fahrenheit), hitting an all-time high 62 years ago.

Climate scientists and activists have sounded the alarm that global warming due to human-made greenhouse gas emissions, particularly from fossil fuels, is on the verge of spiraling out of control.

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The hottest years on the planet have all been recorded in the past decade, with 2021 being the sixth warmest, according to data from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration this week.

An iron ore mining region in Australia’s northwest, Pilbara, where temperatures hit a record high on Thursday, is known for its hot and dry conditions, with temperatures generally hovering in the thirties at this time of the year.

A camel train carries tourists on a sunset safari along Cable Beach, located near the town of Broome in northwestern Australia May 17, 2013. REUTERS/Julius Hunter

Australia is one of the world’s biggest per capita carbon emitters, but the government has refused to give up its reliance on coal and other fossil fuel industries, saying it will cost jobs.

Scientists have found that rising temperatures can harm public health and work productivity outdoors, leading to billions of dollars in economic losses.

Australia has lost an average of A$10.3 billion ($7.48 billion) and 218 productive hours each year over the past two decades to heat, according to a global study published this week by researchers from Duke University. These losses will only worsen in coming decades as the world heads for global warming of 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial times, they warned.

“These results imply that we do not have to wait for 1.5°C of global warming to feel the impacts of climate change on labor and the economy…Additional future warming amplifies these impacts,” said the lead author Luke Parsons.

($1 = 1.3763 ​​Australian dollars)

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Editing by Karishma Singh

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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