Friday 5 July 2024

By 3 July in 2024 there were 644,633 instances of communicable diseases recorded in Australia - 75.83% of which were respiratory diseases (with COVID-19 leading the respiratory numbers)

ScienceOpen, Zoonoses, Volume 4, Issue 1:

GlobalInfectious Diseases between January and March 2024: Periodic Analysis

Tingting, J. et al, published 21 May 2024

FIGURE 1 | Worldwide distribution of infectious diseases from January to March 2024.

In the past 3 decades, >40 previously unidentified infectious diseases have emerged globally. This emergence, coupled with accelerated urbanization, advancing transportation networks, climate change, and global population aging, has led to the rapid spread and increased recurrence of infectious diseases worldwide. Consequently, these phenomena pose a significant threat to public health and safety, while profoundly impacting economic and social development.

As a result, the effective prevention and control of newly emerging infectious diseases have become pressing imperatives for humanity. Simultaneously, bolstering research efforts aimed at preventing and treating emerging infectious diseases remains an ongoing pursuit within the medical domain, encapsulated by the adage, “with greater knowledge comes greater challenges.” It is an unequivocal responsibility for healthcare practitioners to diligently explore timely and efficacious methods and strategies for preventing and treating newly emerging infectious diseases.

The Australian Government Dept. of Health Surveillance Dashboard (listing 9 major disease groups & updated 3 July 2024) records that to date in 2024 there have been 644,633 instances of confirmed communicable diseases in Australia.

With the highest numbers found in the Respiratory Diseases Group with a total of 488,848 confirmed instances across 6 named diseases:

COVID-19 209,532 cases

Influenza (laboratory confirmed) 53,014 cases

Legionellosis (Legionnaires' disease) 347 cases

Pertussis (Whooping Cough) 12,383 cases

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) 112,891 cases

Tuberculosis 711 cases.

Note: In the year to 22 June 2024 the Northern NSW Local Health District recorded:

2,406 confirmed cases of COVID-19;

680 confirmed cases of Influenza;

1,063 confirmed cases of RSV; and

To date the area health service has not issued a specific Pertussis alert for the Northern Rivers region this year.

The Surveillance Dashboard group with the second highest numbers was Gastrointestinal diseases with a total of 41,169 confirmed instances across 13 named diseases.

While the group with the third highest numbers was Sexually transmissible infections with a total of 81,088 confirmed instances across 4 named diseases.

The group with the fourth highest numbers was sadly Vaccine preventable diseases with a total of 20,487 confirmed instances across 13 diseases.

The only communicable diseases on the Surveillance Dashboard not listed as occurring from 1 January to 3 July 2024 are Donovanosis, Poliovirus infection, Rubella congenital, Tetanus, Japanese encephalitis virus infection, Anthrax, Australian bat lyssavirus infection & Tularaemia.

The highest number of communicable disease notifications to date originated from New South Wales (263,628), Queensland (138,625) and Victoria (116,788). These three states making up a combined est. 80.51% of all notifications.


From 2022 to 2024 COVID-19 has been the leading cause of acute respiratory infection mortality in Australia, totally 21,158 deaths with more males dying from COVID-19 compared to females.

There were est. 1,367 COVID-19 deaths between 1 January and 31 May 2024 - 626 females and 741 males.

There were also 152 recorded deaths from Influenza with more males than females having died from influenza in 2024. Additionally, a total of 114 deaths were recorded from RSV in 2024.

Thursday 4 July 2024

Under current senior management has the Australian Bureau of Meteorology become a cheap servant of international mining giants?


Rick Morton writing in The Saturday Paper, 29 June - 5 July 2024:

Bureau of Meteorology executives stared down an internal revolt from their own forecasters to create a “tailored” service for Woodside Energy’s shipping operation at its multibillion-dollar Scarborough gas facility on Western Australia’s Burrup Peninsula, insiders say.

The service was unusual in that the BoM’s internal commercial services team – which usually handles fee-for-service corporate requests – rejected the job due to a lack of staff. The commercial project was then handballed to the agency’s aviation division.

Although the Bureau of Meteorology has an aviation division forecaster looking after northern Western Australia, producing aerodrome forecasts for dozens and dozens of mine sites with fly-in fly-out workforces, Woodside’s dock in WA, where gas is loaded for transport to mostly foreign markets, has nothing to do with air travel.

What we really hated – and we were really vehemently against it, and they just basically totally ignored us – was that they’ve also got us doing a warning service for Woodside petroleum where they load the ships with gas,” a senior meteorologist tells The Saturday Paper.

It has nothing to do with aviation. And it’s been our argument all along that that forecaster who’s looking after northern Western Australia, he’s supposed to drop everything and send these very specific warnings to Woodside that there’s a wind gust coming in that might affect your operations.

And this is 24 hours a day, basically, over the summer when there are storms around.”

The BoM has multiple divisions under its new structure and the forecasters who produce updates for the general public work under the banner of National Production. Aviation Weather Services is a separate division but the organisation draws talent from the same pool of meteorologists, which it is also responsible for training via its accelerated one-year graduate program in Melbourne....

Since Dr Andrew Johnson joined the bureau as chief executive in 2016, the number of forecaster positions across weather, floods and bushfires has grown by just five roles.

When meteorologists in aviation saw the original contract for the Woodside Energy project, they were aghast. It was worth about $30,000 when the contract was signed in 2020. It is not clear how much the agency currently charges the resource giant for the same service.

It was pretty insignificant, which just made us angrier, because we didn’t want to do it in the first place,” a meteorologist says.

We didn’t think the bureau should have anything to do with fossil fuel companies, quite frankly.”

Airlines pay tens of millions of dollars each year for similar BoM expertise, although they also employ their own meteorologists in recognition of the critical role weather plays in the conduct of their business. Qantas, for example, has a team of six working rolling shifts covering 24/7 operations. Woodside Energy Group, which recorded a net after-tax profit of US$1.7 billion last year, employs metocean engineers crucial for offshore exploration but has no such dedicated team of meteorologists.

A spokesperson for the Bureau of Meteorology told The Saturday Paper the agency “fully and separately recovers the cost of providing tailored services to its resources sector and aviation customers” but conceded the workforce demands of its commercial work affect the whole organisation.

The meteorological and other services provided by the Bureau to its fee for service customers in most cases build upon services created for the public,” the spokesperson said in a statement.

As such, they draw on a very wide range of Bureau capability. Without exception, the cost of elaborating, or tailoring, those services is fully recovered from the customer receiving the tailored services.”

Under the Meteorology Act 1955, which governs the BoM, there is a stipulation that the agency’s functions must be performed “in the public interest generally” and in particular for the purposes of the Defence Force, navigation, shipping, aviation and “primary production, industry, trade and commerce”. Nothing forced the BoM to bid for the Woodside contract, however.

They’re paying pennies to a stretched organisation … it’s a drop in the ocean for Woodside, but it costs us a great deal more in work hours, staff morale and eventually quality.”

In its annual report from last year, the agency crowed about how Woodside Energy “selected the Bureau to provide a suite of critical meteorological services following a competitive tender process”.

This success is testament to the Bureau’s meteorological skills, customer support capability and deep industry expertise, honed over decades of service delivery to the resources sector,” it said.

This continues the long-standing partnership between Woodside and the Bureau, with both organisations gaining significant value from working closely together.

Weather is highly impactful for Woodside. With many operating assets in exposed locations and vulnerable to hazardous weather, timely and accurate weather forecasts are key to Woodside’s operational success and the safety of their staff.”

Similarly, the BoM was enthusiastic about its partnership with Rio Tinto after it “started providing Rio Tinto’s Operational Excellence Team with logistics forecasts, particularly tailored rainfall information, aimed at enhancing operational efficiency”.

Facilitated by the Bureau’s accurate predictions, Rio Tinto reported significant efficiency improvements following a few rainfall events in early 2023,” it said.

A direct economic impact of approximately $6 million has been associated with the Bureau’s services, as validated by Rio Tinto, over 3 distinct weather events confirming the significant value delivered.”

There is no doubt obligations are imposed on the Bureau of Meteorology by its governing legislation, but senior forecasters who have worked at the agency for decades query whether management needs to be quite so proactive about hawking the skills of overworked staff to the resources sector as the climate crisis grows.

It would cost Woodside at least half a million dollars a year to stand up a 24/7 warning service through summer, but probably close to millions of dollars, and they’re paying pennies to a stretched organisation for the privilege,” a meteorologist says.

Either way, it’s a drop in the ocean for Woodside, but it costs us a great deal more in work hours, staff morale and eventually quality. It’s gone downhill so much since I joined. At the time, I believe the Bureau had the highest retention of staff of any section of the federal government and we’re at the stage now where there is so much unhappiness, morale is so low. In aviation, they’re struggling to hold on to people.”

The BoM recently withdrew its specialist Sydney Airport Meteorological Unit (SAMU) from service, despite considerable protest by airlines, ground support companies and the airport itself, and blended its role with the broader aviation division.

Management argued the forecasts could be done by the Brisbane Aviation Forecasting Centre, which historically has been responsible for forecasting from the Cocos Islands north-west of WA, across the northern half of Australia and down the Queensland coast.

Brisbane now handles half of New South Wales, down the coastline, taking in Sydney, while the rest of the state is managed by the Melbourne Aviation Forecasting Centre.

The eastern half of NSW contains terrible weather generally, and the Sydney basin, which is a huge amount of work. So the bureau, in their wisdom, a few years ago decided to close the Sydney Airport Meteorological Unit,” a forecaster says.

And there was a huge uproar amongst Sydney Airport operations and air traffic and the airlines, because you had all of these highly experienced people and Sydney Airport is really difficult to forecast. They are so angry if anything interrupts their flow. It’s a huge job.”

Meteorologists warned management at the bureau Sydney Airport was not like any other airport. Fog is a huge problem and wind speed and strength is critical. Closing runways in Sydney causes delays across the national network and fog had the potential to reroute international flights that land in the early morning, costing airlines hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Management didn’t listen.

So the airlines get pretty angry when the forecast goes amiss, and it’s gone amiss a lot more since SAMU disappeared. And that’s not blaming the forecasters; they just have too much bloody work to do.”

These changes have made meteorologists particularly incensed by the fact the aviation division is now being used to do contract work for the resources sector. In all, the Bureau of Meteorology provides services to 32 fossil fuel clients. [my yellow highlighting]

One of these is Santos, which has operations in the Bayu-Undan gas field, located within the territorial waters of Timor-Leste, the control of which has reverted exclusively to Timor-Leste following a maritime borders treaty decision in late 2017.

Although the BoM provides forecasting expertise and equipment to Pacific nations under the auspices of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, its activities in the gas fields outside Australia are entirely on behalf of Santos.

We’re also doing forecasts for the planes flying around the Timor gas field between Australia and Dili and a forecast for Dili as well,” says a bureau meteorologist who spoke on condition of anonymity.

I’m not sure who pays for that but, again, we don’t have any equipment there. It’s a really hard place to forecast, so we’d rather not be doing that either.”

Coincidentally, the bureau’s Brisbane office is now located in the Santos building.

There is a fine line between providing a critical service for the Australian economy and becoming cheerleaders for certain parts of it,” a forecaster says.

Many of us see it as a particular issue where the organisation is not healthy. We are not flourishing at all, actually, and the weather conditions that lead to our overwork are growing worse every year because of climate change.”

In late 2021, when Woodside announced it would pursue the $16.5 billion investment in the Scarborough gas project off WA’s northern coast, it estimated the total carbon dioxide emissions from the project would soar past 800 million tonnes.

However, a report by the global firm Climate Analytics later found that when all “associated and interlinked projects” were included in the equation, these emissions would top 1.37 billion tonnes over three decades. In all, that is almost three times the total annual emissions produced by Australia.

That’s what we’re breaking our backs for,” a senior meteorologist says.

Full article can be read at:


Financial status of major resource corporations mentioned in the Morton article.

Santos Limited is an international petroleum and gas exploration, production & supply corporation with interests in Australia, Papua New Guinea, Timor Sea, South-East Asia, the United States & United Kingdom. Having a 2023 full year sales revenue of US$5.889 billion, underlying net profit after tax of US$1.423 billion and free cash flow of US$2.128 billion. It will come as no surprise that its last published Tax Contribution Disclosure (31.12.22) revealed that despite declaring a net profit in the millions, Santos Limited paid no corporate tax in that 2022 reporting period courtesy of Australia's generous corporate taxation policies. [Santos Limited Annual Report 2023]

Rio Tinto Group is a multinational metals & mining corporation based in London UK & Melbourne Australia, with interests in Australia, USA, Canada, Iceland, Madagascar, Mongolia, New Zealand & South Africa. Having a 2023 annual consolidated sales revenue of $54.0 billion, profit after tax of $10.1 billion and free cash flow of $7.7 billion. Corporate tax paid in Australia amounted to $4.1 billion. [Rio Tinto Group Annual Report 2023]

Woodside Energy Group Ltd is an multinational petroleum exploration and production company with its head office in Perth along with five other offices in Australia and, offices in the UK, USA, Canada, Mexico, Africa, the Caribbean & Asia Pacific. Having a 2023 annual operating revenue of US$13.9 billion, underlying net profit after tax of US$3.3 billion and a free tax flow of US$560 million. Income tax expense in 2023 US$653 million. [Woodside Energy Annual Report 2023

Wednesday 3 July 2024

Over five years since the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry & yet banks are still behaving badly

Just over a month ago a parliamentary in inquiry told the general public what it had long suspect - that Australia's banks were reducing the number of storefronts with a total of 596 towns that once had between one or four major banks by 2023 having no form of bank at all.

According to Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee's May 2024 Inquiry into bank closures in regional Australia, there were 2,802 banks in 1,126 regional locations across Australia in 1975.

However, just 958 remained open by March 2023 - a cut of 66 per cent of the network or a loss of 1844 banks in 1031 regional towns, cities and coastal communities in just over 45 years.

So why is this happening? It can't solely be as a consequence of the global pandemic or subsequent international or domestic economic pressures. 


Wilson, Therese, "Banks behaving badly" [2004] AltLawJl 88; Alternative Law Journal 294:

The 'deregulation' of banking in Australia during the 1980s has been cited as a major reason for banks pursuing profitable transactions and avoiding what they perceive to be higher risk transactions. Whilst the Wallis lnquiry predicted increased competition in the financial services market that would bring about affordable financial services for all Australians, no such competition has emerged.....

Banks are now trying to attract and retain what they regard as a 'more profitable' group of customers, and have tended to close banks in areas populated by low-income earners. Fees on savings accounts have increased, and tend to be waived only for customers with home loans or investments with the bank, or members of professional associations. Further, very heavy fees are imposed for defaults such as cheques that bounce or overdrawn accounts. Low-income earners are left without the ability to save in any substantial manner, and without access to 'safe credit'. This results in 'financial exclusion' defined as:

lack of access to financial services by individuals or communities due to their geographic location, economic Situation or any other anomalous social condition which prevents people from fully participating in the economic and social structures of mainstream communities.


It's over five years since the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry handed down its final report.

Yet banks are still behaving badly.

In June 2023 the Banking Code Compliance Committee (BCCC) reported:

....a concerning increase in breaches of Part 9 of the Code, which contains the crucial obligations to support customers facing financial difficulty. The almost 40% increase of these breaches is alarming.

In a time marked by escalating inflation and living costs, the imperative for banks to provide support to customers in financial difficulty cannot be overstated. Breaches of these obligations can lead to serious consumer detriment.

Banks reported failing to respond to financial hardship requests, persisting with debt collection activities despite hardship arrangements being in place, and neglecting to follow through on agreed-upon hardship arrangements. Such failings not only breach Code obligations, but they also contribute to a decline in trust and confidence in the industry.

Nine banks (including three major banks) contributed to the 4,415 Part 9 breaches between July 2022 and June 2023.

The poor practices and non-compliance identified in a June 2023 BCCC report fell into three categories:

1. Fees and charges for services no longer provided

Banks continuing to apply fees and charges to accounts of deceased customers despite

being notified of their passing.

2. Failing to act within timeframes

Banks failing to act on requests or instructions within the obligatory 14 days of receiving notifications or information.

3. Lack of respect and compassion

Banks failing to treat representatives and family of deceased customers with the respect and compassion expected in the circumstances.

That report noted:

On the specific issue of fees being charged for services no longer provided on deceased estates, banks committed to rectifying the issues and had plans in place to improve processes.

Some banks were aware of the issues before our inquiry and had already begun comprehensive improvements and remediation programs.

However, given the time since the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry – of which fees for no service, in the context of failure to provide personal financial advice, was a key focus – and the findings of our inquiry, this action has been slow and inconsistent.

Many banks were on notice of the harm caused by fees for no service from ASIC’s investigations into financial advice misconduct in 2015. ASIC reported that, at the end of 2022, banks and financial institutions had provided over $4.7 billion in compensation under remediation programs for loss or detriment due to financial advice misconduct.

Charging fees, including to people known to have died, was a key focus of the second-round hearings on financial advice at the Royal Commission in 2018.

On 2 July 2024 BCCC issued a media release announcing:

The Banking Code Compliance Committee (BCCC) has sanctioned ANZ for not stopping or refunding fees for deceased estates, as well as not responding to representatives of deceased estates within the required timeframe.

Between July 2019 and September 2023, ANZ breached its Code obligations by failing to stop or refund fees charged to deceased estates after customers’ deaths.

ANZ further breached its Code obligations by not responding to instructions or requests for information from representatives of deceased estates within the required 14 days.

Chair of the BCCC, Ian Govey AM, noted the seriousness of the breaches.

The decision to name ANZ for its non-compliance reflects the seriousness of its Code breaches," Mr Govey said.

Naming a bank is a sanction that we reserve for the most serious and systemic breaches.

The significance of the deficiencies in ANZ’s compliance frameworks was deeply concerning. Its non-compliance warranted such a sanction," said Mr Govey.

Despite first identifying the issues in early 2022, ANZ took over a year to implement solutions and then nearly two years to start its customer remediation program, which is still ongoing and expected to be finalised by the end of July 2024.

Mr Govey noted concerns with the remediation efforts from ANZ.

The remediation did not meet expectations. Once aware of the issues, ANZ did not act with sufficient urgency to remediate the affected customers. It should have done more to address this more quickly,” Mr Govey said.

However, the BCCC acknowledged that ANZ’s remediation included the use of assumptions beneficial to customers, including reimbursing charges that may already have been refunded.

The BCCC also found that another bank had breached obligations by failing to stop or refund certain fees charged to deceased estates after customers’ deaths.

However, in that case, the sanction from the BCCC was to formally warn the bank about its conduct.

In the previous month June 2024 BCCC had announced:

The Banking Code Compliance Committee (BCCC) has sanctioned Westpac Bank for serious and systemic breaches of the Banking Code of Practice (the Banking Code) after it failed to provide adequate support to customers following the closure of its branch in Tennant Creek, Northern Territory.

The BCCC’s investigation revealed that Westpac did not comply with its obligations under the Banking Code and the Australian Banking Association’s (ABA) Branch Closure Protocol when it closed its Tennant Creek branch in September 2022.

The findings show that Westpac needed to do much more to support customers to transition to other ways of banking, engage with the community to promptly address concerns, and provide adequate assistance to customers in remote areas to ensure they could still access essential banking services....

Tuesday 2 July 2024

Clarence River Estuary Cleanup, Saturday 6 July 2024 for 9am start. Volunteers needed from recreational angler community & friends. Register now!


Clarence River Estuary Cleanup

WHEN: Saturday 6 July 2024

START: 9am

WHERE: Meet OzFish cleanup crew at dirt park near Oyster Channel Bridge, Yamba NSW 2464



Approach to town side of Oyster Channel Bridge


Mirage News. 27 June 2024:

OzFish Unlimited – Australia fishing conservation charity, together with NSW DPI Fisheries are calling on recreational anglers to help clean up the banks of the mighty Clarence River in Yamba on Saturday July 6.

Through the state-wide KEEP IT CLEAN initiative, both organisations want to see as many anglers involved.

"No one wants to catch a plastic bag when they're out on the water and we know the impacts litter can have on local wildlife and marine life. Clean-ups like this make for better fishing experience for all involved," said Caitlin Berecry, OzFish spokesperson.

"Rec fishers see the impacts of litter. And it's not always rec fishing litter that we're cleaning up but by getting involved fishos are inspiring other to think local and create change.

"We simply need Yamba anglers to come down and give us a few hours to better the local environment," said Caitlin.

This clean up and it's follow up event scheduled for early September are part of a wider project OzFish is running in collaboration with the Yaegl Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation RNTBC (Yaegl TOAC).

The project aims to restore saltmarsh and mangroves in the Clarence River Estuary, which are culturally and ecologically important native title sites on Yaegl Country.

These habitats are absolutely vital for a healthy fishery, with Clarence saltmarshes being valued at $25,741 per hectare – showing just how productive they really are.

Volunteers can meet the clean-up crew at the dirt park by the Oyster Channel Bridge at 9am. Look out for the OzFish signage. All the necessary equipment for the clean-up will be provided but volunteers are encouraged to bring water and wear sun-safe clothing.

All the collected rubbish is sorted and recorded at the end of the clean-up with items sent to recycling where possible. Eligible items may eventually find their way back into the hands of rec anglers through OzFish's Tackle Loop program.

Prizes and giveaways will be up for grabs.

Registration is essential for the event. To register head to


Keep it Clean is a partnership with OzFish and the NSW Department of Primary Industries. It is made possible through funding by the Recreational Fishing Trusts and Marine Estate Management Strategy. [my yellow highlighting]



OzFish is partnering with NSW DPI to redefine what it means to be a responsible angler. Join us on a Fish For Life journey to preserve the beauty of our waterways and ensure generations to come can experience the thrill of the catch.

Our goal is crystal clear: empower anglers to champion sustainable fishing practices. It’s not just about catching memories; it’s about leaving a legacy of cleaner waters and unspoiled habitats.

Each time you go fishing is an opportunity to make a difference and the Fish For Life – Keep It Clean campaign encourages exactly that. Be part of making a difference use the hashtag #FishForLifeKeepItClean, share the videos, and show Australia just how much our waterways mean to recreational fishers by getting involved.

Monday 1 July 2024

CLIMATE CHANGE 2024: Does the climate in the region where you live still feel like the regional climate as you remember it from ten, fifteen, twenty or forty years ago?


As seasons of the year in Australia begin to change in character there is some value in establishing what the climate zones across the country's 7.688 million km² landmass are, in order to form personal comparisons that are based on more than childhood memories when attempting to confirm our sense of what Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter is in 2024.

According to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BOM); "Australia is one of only a few countries in the world to span several climate zones".

There is a tropical zone in the north, a subtropical zone across much of our centre and, temperate zones in the south.

This simplified outline of the spatial distribution of these zones is based on meteorological opinion in 2018.

Again according to BOM these are the principal characteristics of these zones:

Tropical zone

Areas near the equator get direct sunlight all year round, meaning that at noon the sun is right overhead. This is called the tropical zone.

When the sunlight hits the surface of the earth or the ocean it warms the air, causing it to rise. The warm air cools as it rises, and the water in the air condenses and falls as rain.

It makes sense then that the tropical zone, which includes places like Cairns and Darwin, is warm and humid most of the year, with a clear wet and dry season as the tropical rain belt shifts south and then north of the equator.

Subtropical zone

If you move further away from the equator, you enter the subtropical zone. This is where the warm rising air air from the tropics falls as dry, cooler air. The sinking air makes for high pressure systems and clear skies at the Earth's surface, so the subtropical zone is fairly dry.

Places like Longreach and Brisbane are considered subtropical. Summers are hot, winters are mild and this zone is where you’ll find most of the world's deserts.

Temperate zone

The next climate zone is the temperate zone. The Earth is round, so sunlight hits these areas on more of an angle then at the equator. The same amount of energy then has to cover a larger area so it’s cooler here than in the tropics.

The Earth is also tilted, so as we move around the sun during the year, temperate zones receive less direct sunlight in winter and more in summer.

Places in the temperate zone—like Hobart and Melbourne—therefore have distinct seasons, with warm, long days in summer, and cold, short days in winter. Most regions in the temperate zone also tend to receive more rainfall in winter than in summer.

Polar zone

The coldest climate zone is the polar zone. Here, the sun is lower in the sky and its rays reach Earth at an even larger angle.

The polar zone is very cold and cold air can't hold much moisture. Some areas in the Arctic and Antarctica are as dry as the subtropical deserts!

So does the climate in the region where you live still feel like the regional climate as you remember it from ten, fifteen, twenty or forty years ago?

Given that by 2023 Australia had a national average surface temp of 1.50°C ± 0.23°C above pre-industrial levels, which has led to an increase in the frequency of extreme heat events.

That in recent decades, there has also been a trend towards a greater proportion of rainfall from high intensity, short duration rainfall events, especially across northern Australia during the wet season.

As for April to October rainfall, it has declined across southern Australia in recent decades, due to a combination of long-term natural variability and changes in atmospheric circulation caused by an increase in greenhouse gas concentrations.

Does it still seem like climate as usual, given in 2023 this country experienced its equal eighth-warmest year on record with the national mean temperature 0.98 °C warmer than the 1961–1990 average. With mean annual maximum and minimum temperatures were above average for all six states and the Northern Territory. While Winter in 2023 was Australia's warmest on record, with the national mean temperature 1.53 °C above the 1961–1990 average and Summer was peppered by frequent low-to-severe intensity heatwave conditions.

It was a year in which during the first quarter, Australia experienced multiple major flood events, mostly across inland and northern regions and then come the August to October period the country experienced its driest three month period on record since 1900.

Surface water storages declined but bounced back to 74% of available national capacity by year's end.

Come 2024 and it seemed that Australia's climate and weather patterns lurched between extremes with Nature trying to find some sort of balance despite the fact that the national land surface temperature still remains at 1.50°C ± 0.23°C above pre-industrial levels with a reasonable chance that it will end the year even higher.

BOM's Seasonal Summary for Australia in Autumn 2024 revealed that a heatwave affected most of south-eastern Australia in the first half of March, with both daytime and night-time temperatures more than 10 °C above the March average, while parts of Western Australia's far west experienced very much above average temperatures in all three autumn months. In May, Perth Metro had 13 consecutive days of at least 25.0 °C, a May record for the combined sites of Perth.

The Summary also stated that the national area-averaged mean temperature for autumn was 0.53 °C above the 1961–1990 average and 0.46 °C above the 1961–1990 autumn area-average mean maximum temperature.

Adding that Area-averaged maximum temperatures were above average for all states, while for the Northern Territory it was 0.88 °C below average and the lowest since 2012.

Mean maximum temperatures were above average to very much above average (in the highest 10% of all autumns since 1910) for Victoria, Tasmania, most of New South Wales and South Australia, a large area in the western part of Western Australia, the Top End of the Northern Territory and coastal and inland areas of central Queensland. Autumn maximum temperatures were the highest on record for parts of Western Australia's west coast, with many stations in these areas having their highest mean maximum temperatures records for autumn.

Mean maximum temperatures were below average to very much below average (in the lowest 10% of all autumns since 1910) for inland areas of the Northern Territory and Western Australia.

Monday 24 June 2024

Notice to Readers


North Coast Voices will not be posting between Monday 24 June and Sunday 30 June 2024.

Apologies to our readers.