Originally published by John Queally at Common Dreams
Deep purple… the Bureau of Meteorology’s interactive weather forecasting chart has added new colors. (Photo: Bureau of Meteorology)
Wild fires continue to rage across Australia Tuesday and temperatures have become so hot the country’s Bureau of Meteorology was forced to add a new color—deep purple—to show areas that have exceeded all-time heat records.
Previously the Bureau’s heat index was capped at 48°C (118.4°F), but now recorded temperatures of over 50°C (122°F) have pushed the limit of the scale to an unheard of 54°C, which is equivalent to 129°F.
“The scale has just been increased today and I would anticipate it is because the forecast coming from the bureau’s model is showing temperatures in excess of 50 degrees,” David Jones, head of the bureau’s climate monitoring and prediction unit, told reporters.
Indicating that the worst may yet to come, Jones added that, “The air mass over the inland is still heating up – it hasn’t peaked.”
Climate scientists in Australia—with Jones among them—say the fires and the heat are unprecedented in scale and intensity, but that Australians should understand the destructive temperatures and ensuing fires across Tasmania and southern sections of the country are the new normal of runaway climate change. Continue reading