THE proportion of Australia experiencing hot and wet extremes has increased in line with predictions of the impact of rising greenhouse gas emissions.
A Melbourne University study published last month in the US Journal of Climate (here) found that since 1911 the area of Australia recording extreme heat and rainfall events has grown by up to 25 per cent.
The increase in the number of extremely hot and wet days each year has been marked in tropical regions. Major population centres in the south-east and south-west recorded more extreme heat and dry spells.
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Nationally, the shift was consistent but punctuated by spikes in hot and wet conditions in the 1970s and at the turn of the millennium.
Climate scientists Ailie Gallant and David Karoly measured changes in the percentage of the continent experiencing extreme cold, hot, dry or wet conditions.
Dr Gallant said Australia was seeing more extremely wet months "like we're seeing in Queensland, but also those daily extreme rainfall days, like the rain in Melbourne and central Victoria today".