Date: 22 January 2011
2010 was the World's second warmest year since records began in 1850 according to the UK's Climatic Research Unit (CRU). Meanwhile, Australian climate scientists said that climate change has likely intensified the monsoon rains that have triggered record floods in Australia's Queensland state.
Dr Phil Jones, director of research at the CRU said world surface temperatures in 2010 were about 0.5 degrees Celsius (0.9 Fahrenheit) above the average for 1961-1990. The CRU compiles data with the Met Office Hadley Centre, one of three main groups worldwide monitoring climate change. The other two groups, both based in the United States, recently said 2010 was tied for the hottest year on record.
Dr Jones said that the data showed that all but one year in the past decade were among the 10 hottest on record, underlining a warming trend linked to human emissions of greenhouse gases.
Australian scientists said that climate change has likely intensified the monsoon rains that have triggered record floods in Australia's Queensland state, killing 16 people and swamping many towns and the City of Brisbane.
"I think people will end up concluding that at least some of the intensity of the monsoon in Queensland can be attributed to climate change," said Matthew England of the Climate Change Research Center at the University of New South Wales in Sydney (reported by Reuters).
"The waters off Australia are the warmest ever measured and those waters provide moisture to the atmosphere for the Queensland and northern Australia monsoon,"
Business Green, meanwhile, reports that Australia will cut or defer the spending of AU$500m (US$500m) for solar power and carbon capture, and storage projects to help pay for flood damage in Queensland.
Preliminary estimates indicate that the Government will need to invest AU$5.6bn (US$5.6bn) in rebuilding flood-affected regions, with the majority going on rebuilding infrastructure. To meet this need, the government will reduce funding for its Solar Flagships programme by AU$60m (US$60m) and delay a further AU$190m of spending planned under the initiative, according to documents released by prime minister's office. There will also be delays in spending on carbon capture and storage projects and other carbon reduction schemes including the cleaner car rebate scheme and the green car innovation fund.
Christine Milne, acting leader of the Australian Green Party expressed anger at the Government's plan: "It beggars belief that the government would choose to cut climate change programmes like solar flagships, energy efficiency and the solar hot water rebate to fund disaster relief when such disasters will be made worse by climate change," she said.