Record heatwave in Australia


  • Text from Australia: 71 wildfires burning.
  • Bats and flying foxes killed by the thousands.
  • Where was the heatwave the worst?
  • Australia has been getting warmer.

“Heat wave in eastern Australia. 71 wildfires in New South Wales and Victoria. It’s a bit different to your part of the world in USA.”

This text was sent by my brother Clive just a few days ago – 17 January 2019. Less than a week before that I had sent him a video of a three-inch snowfall I experienced here in the USA. What a contrast!

Aussies flock to the beach. Click on image to source or to enlarge, then back-arrow to return to blog article.

Some of the following is excerpted from BBC News. The heatwave has broken heat records at more than ten places around Australia. The record-setters included Port Augusta which reached 48.9C or 120F. Port Augusta lies about 100 miles from where I was raised in Jamestown, South Australia.

This heatwave is comparable to the nation’s worst heatwave in 2013. The hottest day on record for Australia is 7 January 2013, when the national average maximum temperature was 40.3C or almost 105F.

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New South Wales state is lower right. South Australia is lower middle.

The map shows New South Wales was hit the hardest, but with large parts of Queensland and South Australia affected also.

During this heatwave, there were also mass deaths in native bat colonies in New South Wales.

In an earlier heatwave, in November 2018, record-breaking heat in Australia’s north wiped out almost one-third of the nation’s spectacled flying foxes. About 23,000 of these flying foxes died in two days. In the city of Cairns, next to the Great Barrier Reef, locals saw bats toppling from trees into backyards and swimming pools.

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Dead flying foxes found near Cairns in north Queensland.

About 10,000 bats of another species – black flying foxes – succumbed to the heat during the same two-day period.

Flying foxes often experience fatal heat stress when temperatures rise above 42C, scientists say. During November’s heatwave, Cairns recorded its highest-ever temperature of 42.6C or 109F.

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Blue bars are average temperatures (in degrees C) below the long-term mean. Red bars are average temperatures above the mean. The upward trend is the warming in Australia and is quite similar to the global warming trend shown in the next image. Click to enlarge or to source.


In 2018, parts of eastern Australia suffered their worst drought in recent history, while thousands of Australians fled their homes when wildfires swept through Queensland in November 2018.

The second bar-chart shows a close correlation between carbon dioxide levels (the primary greenhouse gas) in the atmosphere and average global temperatures in recent years. I cannot think of any other explanation for this graph, other than made-made greenhouse gases causing the heating of our planet. I discussed this graph in a previous blog.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is CO2-vs-Temp-overlay-BESTjpg.jpg

Average warming trend across the entire world.

For more details on global warming caused by human activities, you can read an excellent article by two Australian colleagues, Julian Pfitzner and Mark Schubert (click here).

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The Gray Nomad ….. Read and stay informed.
God said Let us make mankind in our image, after our likeness; and let them have complete authority over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, the beasts, and over all of the earth, and over every thing that creeps upon the earth.
[Book of Genesis, chapter 1].

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Donna Cowan
5 years ago

Well, I was fascinated by your blog, so I set out to do a little bit of armchair traveling. I traveled to your beautiful little town of Jamestown in South Australia, and was pleasantly surprised at the pristine that little village out in the middle of the plains nearly 3 hours north of Adelaide. What in the world do people do for a living there? Just curious. Google earth showed a temperature yesterday of 79°F. That must be a great relief. Anyway, I thought you might also enjoy a little something from other Gray Nomads.

And while I read this, I also read where Europe and Japan are experiencing some of the coldest weather they’ve seen in years or ever. Strange weather. End times?

Kevin Kilstrom
Kevin Kilstrom
5 years ago

Ian, hate to think it let alone say it, but you’re falling for the dictators’ message. When would you ever have put a black line through that data as shown – and what kind of extrapolation is that anyway with all the curves in it, a 20th derivative polynomial? No way the black line wouldn’t be higher, so our current temperature should be way higher – the black line doesn’t cross the blue data at all similar to where it fits the red data – it’s a street player’s fake-out – look at my right hand while I’m stripping your wallet with my left. Secondly, how many flying foxes have survived and made the species stronger and more adaptable to higher temperatures. I fully believe mans’ contribution to CO2 has impacted temperature to some degree, but what are we to do? Should we quit burning fossil fuels and leave it in the ground as proposed and take a hot shower once a month or every 3 months? What are the Chinese and Indians and some day the South Americans and Africans who are still years behind the average use of energy to do to advance themselves, shut everything down? Tax ourselves to oblivion and give up our independence to the Al Gores of the world? This is unfortunately a giant power grab by the radicals who want to take away our individuality and freedoms, not some holistic push to save humanity. Are we unlike other critters who seem to adapt to changing conditions on this earth and therefore doomed to die as temperature rise 1 or 2 or 5 degrees C? New beaches to be established mate, just a bit further up-dip! Just like houses/acreage on golf courses losing value because the millennials refuse to play golf. Love ya.

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