Extreme weather events in Australia are now commonplace and scientists believe it may be a bellwether for the rest of the world. Report from National Geographic:
In early 2012 once-in-a-century floods submerged swaths of Great Britain and Ireland, causing some $1.52 billion in damages. Then in June record-high temperatures in Russia sparked wildfires that consumed 74 million acres of pristine Siberian taiga. Months after that, Hurricane Sandy pummeled seven countries, killing hundreds and running up an estimated $75 billion in damages. Just this week, a tornado of virtually unheard of size and ferocity tore through a small city in Oklahoma, leaving 24 people dead.
Each of these one-off traumas was bad enough, wreaking havoc, but in Australia such events seem to be becoming commonplace.
The Lucky Country has experienced a major spike in extreme weather in the past few years, with a string of devastating incidents just since January.
That has people wondering if the island continent is somehow a perfect bellwether for the Earth’s changing climate.