Another day, another heat record. Australian authorities warned people to stay indoors on Friday as a strong heat wave along the northwest coast raised temperatures to 50.7 degrees Celsius, the highest in 62 years.
Scientists and climate activists have warned that global warming is close to spiraling out of control. The planet’s hottest years have all been in the last decade, with 2021 being the sixth warmest, data from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration showed this week.
An iron ore mining region in the northwest of the country, where temperatures hit record highs on Thursday, is known for its hot, dry conditions, with temperatures generally hovering around 30 degrees at this time of year.
Australia is one of the world’s biggest carbon emitters per capita, but the government has refused to give up its reliance on coal and other fossil fuel industries, saying it would cost jobs.
Scientists point out that rising temperatures can affect public health and outdoor work productivity, resulting in billions of dollars in economic losses.
Australia has lost an average of A$10.3 billion and 218 productive hours a year over the past two decades because of the heat, according to a global study published this week by researchers at Duke University.
These losses are expected to deepen in the coming decades. “These results imply that we don’t need to wait for global warming to experience the impacts of climate change on work and the economy,” said lead author Luke Parsons.
Reference: CNN Brasil