Climate continuing to warm

Jackson Lavell-LeeBusselton Dunsborough Times
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A section of the Vasse-Wonnerup wetlands.
Camera IconA section of the Vasse-Wonnerup wetlands. Credit: Taelor Pelusey

The South West is feeling the effects of climate change, according to the CSIRO and Bureau of Meteorology’s latest State of the Climate report.

Key observations include declining rainfall in the region and a longer fire season because of extreme heat events and marine heatwaves.

Rainfall from May-July experienced the biggest decrease of about 20 per cent since 1970.

“In line with global trends, our data shows that Australia’s climate is continuing to warm, with eight of the 10 warmest years on record occurring since 2005,” CSIRO Climate Science Centre director Dr Helen Cleugh said.

Since 1910, Australia’s climate has warmed by just more than 1C, and sea surface temperatures in the oceans surrounding Australia have risen by about 1C.

This can contribute to the change in migration patterns of marine animals such as sharks and whales.

The oceans around Australia are also acidifying, resulting in the erosion of major coral ecosystems.

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