Australia appears to be suffering from an accelerated Greenhouse effect, with the pace of global warming faster across the country than in other parts of the world, climatologists say.
The world’s driest inhabited continent, already enduring one of its worst droughts, was waging its own unique climate war, said Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology yearly climate report.
Half the country was desperate for water and the other half was awash with a year’s rainfall for the entire continent.
“Most scientists agree this is part of an enhanced Greenhouse effect,” said bureau senior climatologist Neil Plummer.
“Temperatures are actually rising a little bit faster over Australia compared to the global average, and we know that of Australia’s 20 hottest years, 15 have occurred since 1980.”
As the first cyclone of the summer bears down on Western Australia’s north coast, bringing more rain and potentially destructive winds, the report revealed extraordinary climatic contrasts.
Some areas experienced rare summer snow falls over Christmas to dampen bushfires, even as the drought tightened its grip and major cities imposed tough restrictions on water usage.