Australia records highest temperature in 62 years

SINGAPORE, Jan. 14 (Reuters) – Another day, a new heat record.

Australian authorities warned people to stay indoors on Friday as a severe heat wave along the northwestern coast pushed temperatures to a blistering 50.7 degrees Celsius (123 degrees Fahrenheit), reaching a record 62 years ago.

Climate scientists and activists have sounded alarm bells that global warming from human-induced greenhouse gas emissions, particularly from fossil fuels, is nearly out of control.

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The hottest years on record on the planet have all been in the past decade, with 2021 the sixth hottest, data from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration showed this week.

An iron ore mining region to the northwest, Australia’s Pilbara, where temperatures hit the record high on Thursday, is known for its hot and dry conditions, with temperatures hovering around 30°C at this time of year.

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

Australia is one of the world’s largest emitters of CO2 per capita, but the government has refused to give up its reliance on coal and other fossil fuels, saying it would cost jobs.

Scientists have found that rising temperatures can harm public health and outdoor labor productivity, resulting in billions of dollars in economic losses.

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

“These results imply that we don’t have to wait for 1.5°C global warming to experience the impacts of climate change on labor and the economy… Additional future warming magnifies these impacts,” said 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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