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Failure to mitigate climate change putting Australians’ health at risk

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This week, the Climate Authority released its report 'Australian Heatwaves: Hotter, Longer, Earlier and More Often.' No surprises that the report finds that heatwaves in Australia are becoming more frequent, they are lasting longer, and the hottest days are becoming even hotter. Report author Professor Will Steffen said, “Australia has always had hot weather. However, climate change is loading the dice toward more extreme hot weather. Heatwaves have significant impacts on our health, our infrastructure, our agriculture and our ecosystems. It is essential that we understand the influence of climate change on heatwaves to ensure that health services, transport providers, farmers and the community are prepared for what is happening now and what will happen increasingly in the future.”

The interim findings come as southern Australia swelters through an intense heatwave with temperatures in Melbourne, Perth and Adelaide passing 40 degrees and Canberra heading towards the upper 30s. The current conditions that Australians are experiencing are becoming more common. The current heatwave follows on from a year of extreme heat, the hottest summer on record and the hottest year on record. View the report here.

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