Electricity consumption growth: The State Government said
VictoriaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s average electricity consumption was growing by about 1.9 per
cent annually. Summer peak demand was growing at a rate of 2.8 per
cent, mainly because of increasing use of air-conditioners, whose sales
have trebled in recent years.
Annual warming: Paradoxically, the air-conditioner, particularly
the reverse-cycle type, has become a metaphor for the dilemma that
climate change posed. Figures released by the State Government showed
metropolitan Melbourne could anticipate annual warming of 0.2 to 1.4
degrees celsius over the next 25 years. The number of hot days was
expected to increase by up to 40 per cent as rainfall declined, sea
levels rose, wind and dust storms increased and droughts became more
Bushfires and flooding: Bushfires were likely to increase in
frequency and intensity as a result of these changes. So, too, will
flash flooding and soil erosion.
Ocean currents study: A further sign, in the past few days, of
wide-scale climate change emerging could be drawn from a study of
powerful ocean currents, such as the Gulf Stream, that shifted heat
around the globe. British scientists using data from 1957 on have found
those currents weakening and, as a consequence, temperatures rising by
up to 10 degrees in some areas.
The Age, 5/12/2005, p. 14
Source: Erisk – www.erisk.net