Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

It's Getting Hot in Here

Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

It's Getting Hot in Here

Article excerpt

Byline: Jarred Sferruzzi


1870-1950 City Centre post office

1950-1959 Airport

1959-1995 Harbour Beach

1995-2016 Airport

WHEN it comes to climate change, Mackay has been pinpointed as being in a hot spot, literally.

In the 'State of the Climate 2016' report by the Bureau of Meteorology and CSIRO, Mackay was shown to have one of the highest mean temperature increases in Australia since 1910.

Measured at slightly more than 1.5 degrees, Mackay is one of a handful of places in Australia to experience such a significant change.

Other extreme hot spots around the country appear to include Nicholson in Northern Queensland, a section of Northern Western Australia east of Kalumburu, an area of land around Wongoondy and another around Chandler in Western Australia, and another large section south of Alice Springs.

Senior climatologist with the Bureau of Meteorology Dr Blair Trewin said while the increase in Mackay was marginally more than other regions around Australia, it was the 'bigger picture' of Queensland that was more important.

"The strongest warming trends tend to be over the southern tropics and subtropics (basically the southern two-thirds of Queensland and the southern half of the Northern Territory)," Dr Trewin explained.

"Too far south to be affected by the (relative) cooling influence of wet season rainfall increases in the northern tropics, but also too far north to be influenced much by the Southern Ocean, which has warmed slower than most other parts of the world."

He said Mackay was unique as temperature increases had occurred fairly consistently since 1910, whereas many parts of Australia only experienced changes beginning in 1950. He said this was due to the 1910s and 1920s being "a fair bit cooler" in Mackay than previous years.

Weather records for Mackay were originally gathered at the city centre post office. In 1950 another station was created at the airport, at which point the post office monitor was closed.

In 1959 BOM opened a new meteorological office close to the beach, which was the sole collection point for the city until the early 2000s. …

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