Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Heatwave a sign of climate change: Wong

ABC News Online, Posted 4 hours 54 minutes ago 

Updated 3 hours 29 minutes ago

Federal Climate Change Minister Penny Wong says the heatwave gripping south-east Australia is part of what scientists predicted would happen.

Temperatures have soared well above 40 degrees Celsius across Victoria and South Australia, and the hot weather is forecast to continue for the rest of the week.

Yesterday Adelaide experienced its hottest day in 70 years, reaching 45.7C and the weather bureau has forecast that the length of the heatwave could be a record breaker if temperatures continue to soar.

Scientists say south-east Australia will become hotter and drier under climate change predictions, and Senator Wong says that appears to be happening.

"Eleven of the hottest years in history have been in the last 12, and we also note, particularly in the southern part of Australia, we're seeing less rainfall," she said.

"All of this is consistent with climate change, and all of this is consistent with what scientists told us would happen."

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