20 January 2013
Australian Heat Wave Is Literally Off The Color Scale Read more at http://cleantechnica.com/2013/01/09/australian-heat-wave-is-literally-off-the-colour-scale/#0BLoayxGzCBUoUKJ.99
Australia’s new temperature gradient in use on extremely hot day. (Image Credit: Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology)
Weather maps, of course, indicate the temperature of different areas using color gradients. Areas that are hotter are red; and as they get even hotter. The blue areas indicate cooler temperatures.
Due to the fact that there are so many temperature differences even on very small areas of maps, color gradients are a neat way to show those differences — it’s not very useful to simply print temperature readings in text form on every mm of a map to show temperature gradients that are a fraction of a degree.
It has gotten so hot in Australia this week that extra colors has actually been added to the country’s temperature maps — dark purple and magenta. The new color is for 51 to 54 degrees Celsius. Previously, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology used the color black for the hottest temperatures on the map, which went as high as 50 degrees. The extreme heat, of course, has broken temperature records in the country.
The heat wave has fueled fires in 5 of 6 Australian states, including at least 90 wildfires in New South Wales in Southeastern Australia, as well as the island of Tasmania.
With reduced rainfall and plants losing water, plants are withering and drying out, making them more combustible.
Lightning can strike and ignite one little patch of dry plants, and it can spread as far as the dry fields of plants extend.
This is why wildfires can last days, and become so enormous.
This is only one of multiple unusual phenomena which signify that the global climate is indeed warming. Climate change is real, and these stories of temperature record increases should help the few remaining deniers to realize this.
Main Sources: Reuters and Think Progress