According to the Bureau of
Meteorology, Australia and the globe are experiencing rapid
Since the middle of the 20th century, Australian temperatures have, on average, risen by about 1°C with an increase in the frequency of heatwaves and a decrease in the numbers of frosts and cold days.
Rainfall patterns have also changed - the northwest has seen an increase in rainfall over the last 50 years while much of eastern Australia and the far southwest have experienced a decline.
An article by The Conversation in January 2013 tell us: Planet Earth is warming up. This warming has been strongly attributed to increasing greenhouse gases from human activities. While there are a number of influences on the climate system, such as changing solar radiation and changing atmospheric aerosols, it is very clear that warming has been dominated by increased carbon dioxide levels.
As the climate system warms due to increasing greenhouse gases, more energy is retained in the lower atmosphere. That extra energy influences all our weather and climate.
Future warming of the climate due to greenhouse gas emissions will very likely lead to further increases in the frequency of unusually hot days and nights and continued declines in unusually cold days and nights.
These changes will result in weather events which are increasingly beyond our prior experiences.
And it's not just temperature extremes. Climate model projections indicate that the frequency of many different types of extreme weather will change as the planet warms.
Eminent US climate scientist, Kevin Trenberth, makes the point: "All weather events are affected by climate change because the environment in which they occur is warmer and moister than it used to be."